Yonder Alonso finds "peace" in better numbers

After 30 games, Yonder Alonso leads the Padres in both home runs (four) and RBIs (19).

Last year, the then rookie Alonso didn’t hit his fourth homer until the Padres 92nd game on July 17. And he didn’t drive in his 19th run until the final game of the first half on July 2.

The difference between the seasons for the 26-year-old first baseman?

“I’m just more at peace,” Alonso said Saturday afternoon. “I’m just trying to make things simple. Last year guys didn’t know me. Now they know they can count on me. That feels good. There’s a comfort level with that.

“It also makes it easier when everyone (meaning Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin) are here. Everyone in the lineup is stronger.”

Alonso is on pace to hit 21 homers and drive in 103 runs this season after finishing with nine homers and 62 RBI last season while batting .273 and setting a Padres rookie record with 39 doubles.

So far this season, Alonso is hitting .353 (18-for-51) at Petco Park with four doubles, two homers and 11 RBI. He had hit safely in 12 of the first 13 home games before going 0-for-3 with a walk Saturday night.

Of course, fans continue to compare the careers of Alonso and Anthony Rizzo. Shortly after Alonso came to the Padres in the 4-for-1, 2012 trade that sent Mat Latos to the Reds, the Padres traded Rizzo to the Cubs.

It turns out that is far from the only link between Alonso and Rizzo.

“Rizzo and I go way back,” said Alonso. “We’re both south Florida kids. My high school coach scouted Rizzo for Boston. After we met, Anthony wanted to hit with me.

“I think he’s one of the up-and-coming players in the major leagues. He can hit, hit with power, play defense and run.

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