4/23/2014 7:43 P.M. ET
Roach adapting to life as a reliever
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Two perfect innings of relief and one well-timed home run by teammate Chase Headley were all that was needed for rookie Donn Roach to earn his first Major League victory Tuesday.
Well, that and a whole lot of patience.
Before pitching two shutout innings in a 2-1 victory over the Brewers, Roach had amassed 18 pitches in the team's previous 16 games. His relative inactivity was no fault of his own, but was tied to the number of low-scoring games the Padres have played lately.
Sometimes, being the 12th man on a 12-man pitching staff can be a lonely existence.
"I've never really been in this position before," Roach said. "I'm used to starting and throwing between 60 and 90 pitches every fifth day."
Roach allowed one hit and had one walk and two strikeouts in tossing a scoreless 10th and 11th innings. He became the pitcher of record when Headley connected for a home run in the top of the 12th inning.
After the game, Roach's phone nearly melted due to calls and text messages from friends and family.
"The first person I called was my wife and then my mom and dad," Roach said.
Roach admits that this is a role he's still getting used to. He's essentially on-call every night. Sometimes, he'll get up to warm up only to not be brought into a game. He doesn't take it personally.
"I've actually talked to a few guys about how to handle it. I've talked to [bullpen coach] Willie Blair and he said he made a career of doing it. I've talked to [Tim Stauffer] as well. I think the key for me is to find out what works best for me.
"I think one of the hardest parts for me is going to be making sure that I'm ready to go each day."
San Diego manager Bud Black felt that Roach did a commendable job Tuesday, especially given his use in recent weeks. He pitched on April 2 and then two days later but didn't pitch again until April 15.
"It's tough," Black said after Tuesday's game. "…Donn's usage hasn't been high. He hasn't really been needed. But tonight was a tough environment and he responded."
Denorfia making things happen with two strikes
MILWAUKEE -- Two strikes? So what? That appears to be Chris Denorfia's attitude this season when it comes to being down to his last strike.
Denorfia entered Wednesday's game against the Brewers with a slash line of .419/.438/.710 in 31 at-bats in 2014 when he's had two strikes on him.
"That's not ideal," said Padres manager Bud Black. "That not an easy thing to do. But Deeno has been battling all year."
Denorfia has two doubles and a home run with two strikes. He ranks second in average to Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox (.444). Denorfia ranks third in on-base percentage while his slugging ranks as the best in baseball.