Padres close to signing reliever Chad Qualls to one-year deal

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Chad Qualls is “close to agreeing on a contract” with the Padres, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.

With a 7.32 ERA in 59 innings between two teams Qualls had a dreadful 2010, but most of that can be blamed on a .399 batting average on balls in play that was the worst in all of baseball among the 327 pitchers who logged at least 50 innings.

Earlier this week Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported that Qualls was looking for a one-year deal, so he could rebuild his value and then hit the open market again next offseason, and with that as his goal calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home is the best-case scenario.

UPDATE: Morosi says it’s a one-year deal worth around $2 million, with a team option for 2012. Very nice pickup for the Padres.

Video: Athletics tie home run record on the road

Franklin Barreto, Stephen Piscotty, Mark Canha
AP Images
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The Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.

Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.

The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.