ST. LOUIS -- Matt Palmer grew up dreaming of pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals in Busch Stadium.
Half of that dream may come true over the next few days.
The Padres right-hander, who was recalled from Triple-A Tucson on Sunday, hails from Caruthersville, Mo., a 2 1/2 hour drive south of St. Louis. He attended several Cardinals' games as a youngster and always hoped he would eventually make it to Majors and perform in the closest stadium to his hometown.
This is Palmer's fifth trip to the big leagues after stints with San Francisco (2008) and the Los Angeles Angels (2009-2011). He last pitched for the Angels on April 24, 2011, but he never got the chance to pitch in front of family and friends.
Now, that dream could become reality.
"It's kind of funny, when you're little, you think about that kind of stuff and then maybe it really happens," Palmer said.
Palmer collected 16 tickets for Monday's game and said at least 20 more people from his hometown of 6,168 will be in attendance for the first game of the three-game series. Even more are coming for Tuesday and Wednesday's contests.
The 33-year-old compiled a 4-2 record with a 4.64 ERA at Tucson. He threw well in Spring Training, but suffered a hamstring injury that stalled his progress. His solid seven-week performance at the Triple-A level, along with a host injuries, helped bring him back to the big club.
San Diego manager Bud Black said Palmer would have likely made the team out of Arizona, were it not for the injury. Black is glad to have Palmer back aboard.
"He can start, he can spot start, and he's able to relieve in a number of different roles," Black said. "He's a long man, he can pitch middle [relief]. We like the versatility in his arm."
Palmer was released by the Los Angeles Angeles last season and signed a Minor League free-agent contract on Dec. 1. He last appeared in the majors on April 24, 2001.
After 391 days, Palmer is happy to get another chance.
"I'm ready, whatever they want me to do," Palmer said. "I'm happy to be here and to do whatever it takes to stay here."
Palmer has a major league mark of 13-7 with a 4.52 ERA in 20 starts spanning five-plus seasons.
Palmer starred at Caruthersville High School and played at Missouri State University under legendary coach Keith Guttin.
Palmer still has many friends in southeast Missouri and would love a chance to perform in front of them.
"I'm glad some people are here to enjoy this with me," Palmer said.
Mikolas earns first career victory
ST. LOUIS -- Reliever Miles Mikolas picked up his first Major League win in the Padres' wild 3-2, 13-inning triumph over the Los Angeles Angeles on Sunday.
Mikolas turned in two perfect innings in his eighth Major League appearance.
San Diego pitcher Clayton Richard scored the winning run on a two-out single by Will Venable. Richard was forced to pinch-hit with two out in the 13th after San Diego manager Bud Black used all of his position players. Richard scampered all the way home from first after Los Angeles outfielder Howie Kendrick booted the ball.
"My first win, being in an extra-inning game and a walk off, it was really exciting," Mikolas said. "Kind of an unexpected way to get it. I was just pumped."
Mikolas is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA. He has worked two scoreless innings in each of his last two appearances and has yet to give up a hit to a left-handed batter.
The 23-year-old was brought up from Double-A San Antonio on May 4.
Mikolas was one of the first players to greet Richard at the plate after he scored the game-winning run.
"It was crazy," Mikolas said. "I'm going to get the lineup card and probably frame it."
Injury bug ravaging Padres
ST. LOUIS -- The Padres have been hit hard by the injury bug over the first seven weeks of the season. The string of bad luck continued on Monday with the news that pitcher Cory Luebke will undergo reconstructive elbow surgery on Wednesday and will be lost for the season.
In all, San Diego has 13 players on the disabled list -- five are out for at least 60 days.
Luebke, Micah Owings, Mark Kotsay, Huston Street, Tim Stauffer, Carlos Quentin, Logan Forsythe, Joe Wieland, James Darnell, Jason Bartlett, Kyle Blanks, Jeremy Hermida and Dustin Moseley comprise the unlucky 13.
"We've been hit hard, no doubt about it," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It's just one of those years for a couple clubs."
San Diego players have missed a combined 319 games heading into play on Monday.
Steve Overbey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.