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04/23/08 9:28 PM ET

Hensley has smooth rehab outing

Padres reliever hurls scoreless inning in Class A appearance

SAN DIEGO -- Clay Hensley continues on the comeback trail.

The 28-year-old right-hander, who had been in extended Spring Training with a right shoulder strain, pitched a scoreless inning of relief Tuesday night for Class A Lake Elsinore.

Hensley, who is currently on the 15-day disabled list, underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder on Sept. 21.

"He had a good clean inning," said Padres manager Bud Black on Wednesday. "He came out of it very healthy today. He will pitch again on Thursday over in [Triple-A] Las Vegas and then pitch again Saturday in Las Vegas before pitching again in Portland on Monday or Tuesday."

Hensley, who gave up Barry Bonds' 755th home run last year, was 2-3 with a 6.84 ERA last season. However, the Padres won five of his last six starts, including each of his last four.

The Padres could use another fresh arm as they have been struggling, coming home from a 1-4 road trip and falling behind Arizona by a half-dozen games.

"I think [the NL West teams have] beaten each other up except for Arizona," said Black. "They got off to a great start and have played well. The other teams have taken care of each other and Arizona has been the one team that has played well throughout the division.

"They are pitching well, as evident by the lead in team pitching [2.98 ERA]. They're hitting well and have scored the [second-most] runs in the league [125 to the Cubs' 126 going into Wednesday night].

"That's a pretty good combination. When you are at the top in those two categories, you're going to win a lot of games."

Sandy Burgin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.