SAN DIEGO -- Oktoberfest will come to PETCO Park when the home of the Padres hosts the pregame beer-tasting event on Sept. 24 prior to San Diego's game against the Reds.

Oktoberfest, which will take place at Park at the Park, will feature many local breweries and is designed to celebrate San Diego's reputation as one of America's premier beer cities. It's the second beer-centered event at PETCO Park this season, as the Padres hosted their inaugural Beerfest in April.

"We had an overwhelming turnout at Beerfest, and we want to build on that success as well as improve the operational flow of the event," Padres President and COO Tom Garfinkel said. "We listened to fan feedback, and we are making some changes for Oktoberfest in order to speed up the service and ensure folks have a great experience."

Admission to Oktoberfest is included with a ticket to that night's Padres-Reds game. First pour will be at 5 p.m. and last pour will be at 7 p.m., and beers can be purchased using Friar Funds.

Live music will also be featured at the event, and fans will have the opportunity to purchase commemorative T-shirts and beer steins, with all proceeds going to the Padres Foundation.

Hairston Jr. gets back to true utility role

SAN DIEGO -- Jerry Hairston Jr. made his second start of the season in left field on Wednesday against the D-backs, a sign that the versatile veteran now will likely transition to the utility role that the Padres envisioned for him when he was signed in the offseason.

"He has the capability to go all over, which is a great advantage for us," Padres manager Bud Black said.

Hairston's nod in left allowed Will Venable to take a day off against a left-handed starting pitcher in Joe Saunders.

Hairston's other start in left this season came on May 21 at Seattle, and his previous start at any outfield position came on June 29 against Colorado. He has been primarily used as a middle infielder because of injuries to Everth Cabrera and David Eckstein that required lengthy stints on the 15-day disabled list.

So how did Hairston feel about whipping out the outfielder's glove for the first time in almost two months?

"I'm scared to death," Hairston said. "I hope no fly balls are hit my way."

Hairston was joking, of course. Instead, he said he will rely on muscle memory, preparation and experience playing the outfield throughout his career.

"I'm a guy that will do a lot of things in Spring Training, just in case," Hairston said. "I'll obviously play just about anywhere. As long as it's not pitching, I'm fine."

Overall this season, Hairston has started at least one game at second base, shortstop, third base, left field and right field, and he said his ability to switch seamlessly between positions is something he takes great pride in.

"Few guys do it, so I'm very proud of that," Hairston said. "Obviously, it's a need. There's value in [playing multiple positions]. It really is priceless. The game, especially the last couple years, is really geared towards that, and I like to think I'm pretty good at it."

Hairston also slid down in the batting order from first to sixth on Wednesday, with Eckstein batting leadoff.

Ludwick, Tejada trades help Headley

SAN DIEGO -- Though the acquisitions Ryan Ludwick and Miguel Tejada at the Trade Deadline were expected to bolster the Padres' offense on their own, it was believed that the additions also benefit the rest of the hitters that would slide down in the order.

The best example of that so far is probably Chase Headley.

Headley is batting .308 since Aug. 2, the first game that Ludwick and Tejada were both in the San Diego starting lineup, with six doubles, three home runs, 16 RBIs and 12 runs entering Wednesday. During the Padres' recently completed road trip, Headley tallied at least one RBI in nine of the 10 games.

Those 16 RBIs match his total in June and July combined, which he said is a tribute to the additional opportunities he has had to drive in runs with the new additions to the batting order.

"I just think we put more capable at-bats in there, and that's the main productivity that you're going to see," Headley said. "I think everybody's going to hit with more guys on base, everybody's going to have a better chance to drive in runs and score runs. That takes the pressure off. When you have five or six opportunities throughout the game to drive in runs versus one or two, it's a lot easier to get it done."

But Ludwick specifically has also indirectly helped Headley in a somewhat unexpected way. Headley, a switch-hitter that has had plenty of well-documented offensive woes batting right-handed this season, noticed a quirk in Ludwick's swing while he was hitting in the cage earlier this month that piqued the third baseman's interest.

"[Ludwick] does a little toe tap, which is just a little timing mechanism," Headley said. "That's something I've been struggling with all year is my timing from that side. I was like, 'You know what? What's going to happen? Am I going to hit worse?' "

Since implementing the extra move in his swing during the Padres' series in Arizona in early August, Headley's numbers from the right side have taken a dramatic climb from his .209 season clip. He's batting .308 against left-handed pitching since Aug. 6, with three doubles, one triple, one home run and four RBIs.

"I tried it just from watching [Ludwick], and it made a huge impact," Headley said.

Young to throw second simulated game

SAN DIEGO -- Padres starting pitcher Chris Young, who is on the 60-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder, will throw his second simulated game on Thursday afternoon before San Diego's series finale against the D-backs.

Padres manager Bud Black said Young will throw three innings, an increase from the two frames he tossed on Saturday in Milwaukee. In all, Young threw 38 pitches in that first simulated game with a short rest in between innings.

"He's throwing all his pitches, not quite sure on the velocity, but he's gaining on it," Black said. "I don't really want to put a number on it. We'll see."

Young made his only start of 2010 in April but hopes to pitch for the Padres in September.