MILWAUKEE -- For the first time in his career, pitcher Brad Boxberger stepped into a clubhouse as a Major League baseball player on Sunday.
The right-hander was called up from Triple-A Tucson by the Padres after Saturday's starter, Andrew Cashner, was optioned to Double-A San Antonio to transition into a permanent starting role. Boxberger pitched for Tucson on Thursday and then was called into manager Terry Kennedy's office.
"Steve Webber was in there, the pitching coach, and he told me that I was coming up here," Boxberger said. "It was just a rush of excitement. There's not really anything I can say to explain exactly how I felt, but it was exciting."
Boxberger made his debut in Sunday's 6-5 loss to the Brewers, throwing a hitless eighth inning with a walk and strikeout.
Drafted by the Reds out of USC in 2009, Boxberger has appeared in 113 Minor League games in three seasons. In December of last year, Boxberger was sent to San Diego as part of the Mat Latos trade. In 23 innings of work with Tucson this season, Boxberger has a 3.87 ERA, allowing 22 hits and striking out 35 batters.
Padres manager Bud Black said he's only seen Boxberger in Spring Training, but he likes the former college All-American's body of work.
"He comes from a solid background as an amateur," Black said. "He's got a good arm, he's got good stuff. Again, there's a big difference between Minor League pitching and Major League pitching, but I think there is a fundamental skill set there that projects to be a Major League reliever."
Black said the Padres' Minor League scouts told him Boxberger has been pitching well the last three weeks, and he hopes that can continue into the big leagues.
Boxberger, who said he's "been looking forward to this my whole life," flew from Tucson to meet the team in Milwaukee on Saturday. Making his first trip to the Majors, he said it's important that he's not intimidated when he gets into the game, whenever that may be.
"It's just about me going out there and doing what I do," he said. "The hitter is the hitter, I just have to go at him and attack him in my way. It doesn't matter who is at the plate, I have to get them out. That's my job."
Alonso snaps out of slump with two-hit game
MILWAUKEE - Along with the Padres picking up just their sixth road win of the season on Saturday, first baseman Yonder Alonso might have started to work his way out of a mini-slump.
Before going 2-for-4 with an RBI in Saturday's 5-2 win, Alonso was hitless since June 2 and 2-for-37 (.054) in his last 10 games.
"It's obviously good," Alonso said of his performance Saturday. "But hopefully it rolls and keeps going and snowballs into a good turnaround. And hopefully these little bumps in the road don't come often."
Immediately before his slump, Alonso had been on a 10-game hitting streak. From May 18 to May 27, Alonso batted .351 with seven walks and three RBIs. He had an OPS of .914 and registered three multi-hit games.
Sometimes, that's just the way the game goes, Alonso said.
"It's baseball. It is what it is," Alonso said. "Everybody goes through it. Everybody has to deal with it, and it's just a matter of how long until you can cut it off and then take it from there and try and do well."
The key to getting out of a slump, Alonso said, is to avoid thinking about it too much. It also helps if you make adjustments and improve your approach, which he said he did on Saturday.
"I think my pitch selection was better today," Alonso said. "It's something I've been working on. I feel like the past week or so, my pitch selection has not been too good, and those are things we were looking at in video. ... I just got to keep it going. It's a process."
• After five pitchers came on in relief in Saturday's 5-2 win, Padres manager Bud Black said the entire bullpen was available Sunday except for righty Ross Ohlendorf. Coming on for starter Andrew Cashner, Ohlendorf threw 67 pitches in 4 1/3 innings and allowed just one run on the way to earning the win. Ohlendorf has started 64 games in his career, and Black said starting again could be in his near future, especially after Saturday's performance.
"He was prepared, and I think the way he threw [Saturday] is indicative of how he can pitch," Black said. "There's a chance moving forward you could see him start a game, maybe later this week."
• Outfielder Will Venable returned to the Padres' lineup Saturday and was in the leadoff spot again on Sunday. After missing the previous four games with a strained right oblique, Venable's body responded well, Black said.
"I think with Will, he was real honest with us this week about how his side felt and the training staff did a great job," Black said. "Will did a great job of handling this early on and progressing through the week as far as his activity, and I think it paid off for him. Knock on wood that he's over this and he's ready to go 100 percent again today."
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.