Stairs reveling in return to Philly
Padres outfielder remembers playing days with Phillies
PHILADELPHIA -- During the two seasons Matt Stairs spent with the Phillies, he lived in New Jersey, drove to and from the ballpark on game days and that was about it. He still doesn't know where some of Philadelphia's prominent landmarks sit, never even visited the Liberty Bell.
"Now I'm a tourist, so I'll go look around," Stairs said, dressing in the visitors' locker room of Citizens Bank Park before Friday's game.
Stairs returned to Philadelphia for the first time since he signed as a free agent with San Diego in the offseason, and the 42-year-old reserve outfielder said he was excited to play against the team he won a World Series with two years ago.
"Whenever you win a World Series ring, any team you play for in whatever city, it's always going to be special," Stairs said. "It'll be special coming back here and seeing the fans."
Stairs has played in 30 games so far this year for the Padres, after appearing in 115 over the past two seasons for the Phillies. He became part of Philadelphia sports lore, though, after hitting the game-winning home run in Game 4 of the 2008 National League Championship Series against Los Angeles.
For that, Philadelphia fans will be likely to give Stairs a nice ovation if he makes an appearance at all during this series. Stairs is used primarily as a pinch-hitter.
"Last year when I struggled, people were still supporting me," Stairs said. "I ended up getting that big walk in the playoffs. The support here is unbelievable from the fans."
Torrealba actived from restricted list
PHILADELPHIA -- The Padres reinstated catcher Yorvit Torrealba from the restricted list on Friday and optioned catcher Dusty Ryan to Triple-A Portland.
Torrealba was placed on the restricted list on May 31 for personal reasons, none of which he would elaborate on before Friday's game.
"I'm ready to go, I'm done with it," Torrealba said. "I'm happy to be back with the team, they won two out of three, I'm really happy about that. Everything's fine."
"My wife's fine, my son's fine," he added. "They'll be in New York in a couple of days. It was just some personal stuff that I had to take care of. I thought it was better to get it over with. I think it was the right time to get it over with and I really appreciate that they let me go and take care of the issue."
Torrealba is hitting .287 with one home run and 14 RBIs in 27 games this season.
Nick Hundley, who splits time with Torrealba behind the plate, is hitting .441 over his past 11 games, including a .513 on-base percentage. He went 6-for-16 with three RBIs during the three games Torrealba was away.
"He got taken care of what he needed to take care of," Padres manager Bud Black said on Torrealba. "He's ready to go. You'll see him this weekend."
Venable exits with injury against Phils
The Padres suffered an injury scare in the fifth inning when outfielder Wil Venable jammed his neck after hitting his head against the leg of third baseman Placido Polanco when he sliding headfirst into third base. Venable lay on the ground for a few minutes, but stayed in the game and later scored on Gonzalez's sac fly. But he was taken out an inning later and replaced in right field by Denorfia.
"I think there was an upper-back issue in conjunction with the neck and those muscles started tightening up," Black said. "He got sore and as time went on it just tightened up. He went down below when his spot was coming up to hit and he just couldn't get loose."
Padres wary of Phillies despite slump
PHILADELPHIA -- It would seem that the Padres are catching the Phillies at the perfect moment, as the two clubs appear to be going in opposite directions.
San Diego boasts the best record in the National League and has won seven of its past 10 games. Philadelphia, meanwhile, is mired in one of the worst offensive slumps in team history and has lost 11 of its past 15. The Phillies have been outscored 61-26 during that span.
But Padres manager Bud Black understands that the past two NL pennants still wave in center field here in Citizens Bank Park, and the Phillies are bound to break out of their slump at some point soon.
"I don't think you ever catch the Phillies at the right time," Black said. "They're defending National League champion, they've got one of the best teams in baseball, they won the World Series two years ago, they've got All-Stars across the diamond."
Zach Schonbrun is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.