Oh so close. That was the feeling the San Diego Padres had after Mat Latos threw a complete-game one-hitter on Thursday against the Giants.

Latos, making his 17th career start, had a perfect game through five innings and earned his first career shutout as he improved to 3-3. The right-hander, who threw eight shutout innings in his last start against Houston, has not allowed a run in his last 19 innings of work.

"I just go out there and do my best. That's all I can do," Latos told MLB.com after the game. "Everything came together today."

Latos has now allowed only two earned runs in his last three starts to lower his ERA to 3.32.

Silva relishing reliable role: Carlos Silva is off to a 4-0 start and takes comfort in the knowledge he's contributing to the Cubs' success.

"I feel good not only because I'm 4-0," Silva told the Chicago Sun-Times. "To be honest, I feel good because I feel like I am somebody right now, like my team can count on me. That makes me feel good and [is] so important."

Damon's new hairdo all the rage: Johnny Damon may have been one of the first members of the 2010 Tigers to sport a Mohawk. But now that about half of the team has the same look, he isn't about to take credit.

"They can't put that on me," Damon told the Detroit News. "I'm not going to be responsible for girlfriends, or wives, or parents -- or kids -- calling me about this," he said, in mock disgust. "It's their responsibility. They've got to deal with it."

Damon, with a wry grin, added: "I'm not even sure if there are places on the road that will let us in."

Jaime Garcia soaking up strong start: Rookie Jaime Garcia has a 1.18 ERA through his first six starts with the Cardinals. On a staff that includes veterans Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Brad Penny, Garcia says there is plenty of knowledge to acquire.

"So far, it's been so good," Garcia told MLB.com. "The only thing I can do right now is just keep learning from all these guys and try to have fun and enjoy it."

Rolen brings 'steadying influence': Manager Dusty Baker is happy to have Scott Rolen on the field and in the Reds' clubhouse.

"He's starting to swing the bat a lot in the clutch," Baker told MLB.com. "He's a steadying influence -- period. He's probably been like that most of his life. He's good for our club because he's been where we're trying to go. A lot of guys here haven't been there yet. He's been to All-Star Games and the World Series, the playoffs. There is not too much that he hasn't experienced, and he can pass that knowledge on to our young guys."

Braden always relied on his ability to compete: Dallas Braden isn't getting caught up in his newspaper clips.

"I was a 24th-rounder, so my road was full of obstacles and speed bumps and other guys that just were flat-out better than I was," Braden told the Oakland Tribune of his rise that began when he was the 727th player drafted in 2004. "And I had to compete. But I knew if what I had to do was compete, I'd be OK because that's one thing I've prided myself on."

"Just because of how rare the feat is, I think everybody else understands I'm not going to go out there and rattle off four or five in a row," Braden said of repeating his perfect game. "That's not going to happen. If anything, there's probably going to be a fight at the bat rack for [for the chance to go after] my fastball."

Quintero extends hitting streak to six games: Humberto Quintero extended his hitting streak to six games on Thursday. During the streak, the Houston catcher is hitting .368.

"He's given us some big at-bats, which is really nice," Astros manager Brad Mills told the Houston Chronicle. "At the same time, we don't want to overuse him, but those consistent at-bats are helping him."

Torrealba coming through in the clutch: Since signing Yorvit Torrealba this offseason, he has impressed several members of the San Diego Padres.

"He's one of the most intelligent players I've ever been around," utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. told MLB.com. "There is a reason why he's been on so many successful teams. He has been in big games before."

Torrealba is also a stabilizing force behind the plate. The Padres are 11-4 in his starts, and he has also hit safely in 12 of his last 15 games. He is now hitting .309 this season and is an amazing 10-for-18 (.556) with 12 RBIs with runners in scoring position.

Tony Abreu playing his way into lineup: Tony Abreu is doing his best to earn more playing time.

"Tony has gotten off to a good start and has made things happen when he's played," D-Backs manager A.J. Hinch told the The Arizona Republic. "I find myself almost having to force him into the lineup, even when it's not picture-perfect."

Abreu was acquired from the Dodgers as the "player to be named later" in the Jon Garland deal. He may not always know when he is going to play or at which position. He just knows he will be ready to go.

"I'm a guy who tries to encourage everyone and a guy that hopes everyone does well," he said. "But I know whenever I'm called on, I'll be ready to play in whatever role they want me to play."

Treanor, Ramirez are strong combo behind plate: The Rangers are happy with their catching combination of Matt Treanor and Max Ramirez, who had three hits on Wednesday with his first home run since July 10, 2008.

"He's doing a very good job," Texas manager Ron Washington told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "You've got to give Max credit. He has been working awfully hard, hanging out with the pitching staff, trying to learn what they like. You have to give him credit. We all knew he could swing the bat, and it was nice to see him swing it [Wednesday night]. But I think he is coming along as a catcher."

Treanor has started most of the games since being recalled to the Rangers and has gained the trust of the pitching staff for his solid work behind the plate. In his 20 starts, the Rangers are 14-6.

Nunez putting together dominant streak: Leo Nunez is 2-0 with seven saves and has allowed just one run in 15 1/3 innings with the Marlins. He has allowed just five walks, has 17 strikeouts and opposing batters are hitting just .104 against him.

"He's throwing 95 and has a great changeup going and has added that slider," catcher John Baker told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Last year guys could sit on one speed and now he has three, and that is big for him now. That and getting ahead."

"He has been attacking the strike zone," pitching coach Randy St. Claire said. "His walks are way down. He is being aggressive. That is the key to success."

Bernadina snags the Elvis wig after breaking out: The Nationals have confidence in Roger Bernadina and the 26-year-old Curacao native earned the team's silver Elvis wig for his effort against the Mets on Wednesday night.

"He's made some strides," general manager Mike Rizzo told the The Washington Post of Bernadina. "You keep thinking he's getting close and close and close, and today he showed a flash of what he could be."

Loney on pace for another huge RBI year: James Loney has driven in 90 runs in back-to-back seasons. This year he is hitting .324 and is on pace to drive in 110 runs with 14 homers.

"I'm just trying to drive the ball, and I feel like I'm driving the ball better," Loney told the Los Angeles Times. "That's just from squaring up the ball against the bat better, too. Plus there are the workouts you put in, getting stronger. I think it's a combination of things."

Dunston sees bright future for Castro: Count former Cubs star Shawon Dunston among shortstop Starlin Castro's fans.

"I saw him in Spring Training and he is really polished," Dunston told the Chicago Tribune. "He was much smoother than I was. He just needs to concentrate on playing; don't worry about what people say good about him or bad about him."

Austin Jackson gets rave reviews from Damon: Veteran teammate Johnny Damon is impressed with rookie center fielder Austin Jackson.

"I knew he was a very good player in the Yankees organization, and I got to see him quite a bit," Damon told the Detroit News. "The development that he's made from last year is amazing. He's a Gold Glove-type of center fielder and a guy who's very smart. He understands the game, and he's around some veterans who understand the game.

"He was ready two years ago to be called up to the big leagues. Unfortunately in New York, there was logjam, and he had to keep paying his dues and had to sit down there in Double-A or Triple-A. I felt like he's been ready, and fortunately for him at the age of 23 now, he's already blossomed."

-- Red Line Editorial