04/26/11 11:30 PM ET
Blanks comes off DL, assigned to Double-A
By Tim Powers / Special to MLB.com
Denorfia makes highlight reel in return
SAN DIEGO -- While Chris Denorfia's groin injury felt better on Monday night than it had in a few days, the outfielder was hoping to not have to test it to the extent that he did when he made a highlight-reel catch of a ball in the 13th inning.Denorfia dove and slid into foul territory, rolling over near the visitors' bullpen mound down the right-field line at PETCO Park, then got up and threw to first to double-up Braves pitcher Cristhian Martinez as the Padres went on to win in the bottom of the inning. "Right off the bat, I thought it was going to go foul," Denorfia said. "As the ball continued its flight, I saw it start to straighten out a bit and start to come back, so I got on my horse as best I could and got there just in the nick of time. That was about as far as I could go." The injury has plagued Denorfia since Thursday, and he had missed the three games prior to being inserted into the game for Will Venable in the eighth on Monday. "It's kind of a tricky injury where we're not sure if it's a true strain or not," Denorfia said. "It has been progressing and getting better day by day, but I felt good enough to be out there last night. Obviously, I was hoping not to have to run that much, but it ended up being OK and I felt good [Tuesday]." An already fine play that robbed Martin Prado of extra bases was capped off by Denorfia's alert throw to first that completed the double play. "I caught it, rolled over, popped up and saw a mass of bodies near first base," Denorfia said. "I figured I'd just throw to one of them, and I got the right one."
Padres' bullpen delivers
SAN DIEGO -- It is not often that a bullpen is called upon to contribute seven innings to a ballgame, let alone seven scoreless innings. But in Monday's 13-inning victory over Atlanta, that is exactly what the Padres relievers were asked to do, and they responded in a big way.Six relievers combined to hold Atlanta without a run, a crucial element to the Padres' 5-3 win that snapped a four-game skid. It marked the first time that a San Diego relief squad had pitched that many innings as a group since July 21, also against the Braves, but that game took place at Turner Field. Closer Heath Bell, said that, collectively, the relievers had the Padres' hitters in mind. "I think it was just for everybody," Bell said. "Especially last night, I think it was more for the hitters than for anybody. I think the pitching staff just really wanted to help out the hitters any way we could, and I think last night we did." Bell also acknowledged that tossing seven innings in any game is an irregularity for a bullpen. "I think it's the first time in a long time that we've had to go seven innings," Bell said. "I feel like our bullpen is going to go out there and keep the score exactly the same and give our hitters a chance to win. It just felt good to have everybody help out." Entering Tuesday's game against the Braves, San Diego relievers ranked third in the Majors with a 2.41 ERA and had allowed 76 runs, tied with Florida for the third-fewest in baseball.
Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.