DENVER -- Not only did Sunday's game mark the first time Padres pitcher Donn Roach started a Major League game, but it was also the first time since 2009 manager Bud Black had someone other than a position player hitting eighth in the lineup.
Roach hit eighth in the lineup in the final game of a three-game series against the Rockies -- and it was not because he entered the game with a sparkling 1.000 batting average (1-for-1) this season.
Alexi Amarista, getting a start for Chase Headley at third base, hit ninth.
Black explained that since Roach, normally a long reliever, was only likely to throw 60 or so pitches, having him hit eighth created the possibility where the Padres could pinch-hit for him one batter or one inning sooner, depending on the situation.
"With Roach going three [innings] or so, and it depends on pitch-count, that spot will come up before the ninth spot," Black said. "With a short starter, you're able to use a pinch-hitter sooner."
This isn't the first time Black has done this.
During a three-game series against the A's on June 19-21, 2009, starting pitchers Kevin Correia, Walter Silva and Wade LeBlanc also hit eighth. The No. 9 hitter in that series was Everth Cabrera, who hit in the leadoff spot Sunday.
The Padres' bench sets up pretty well for Sunday, especially with Headley available to pinch-hit if it's needed.
Quackenbush fine with shuttling up and down
DENVER -- Chances are Padres' reliever Kevin Quackenbush might have to fight the urge to head for the airport on the team's off-day Monday.
That has been the drill so far this season for Quackenbush, who has joined the Padres five times since April 25 as an additional reliever to the bullpen for various reasons.
Quackenbush joined the team on May 13 when reliever Dale Thayer landed on the paternity list. Then, two days later, he was the 26th man on the roster for the second game of a doubleheader against the Reds. He also joined the team on May 8 when Hector Ambriz was designated for assignment.
His latest stint with the team started on Saturday when he joined the team from Triple-A El Paso when Andrew Cashner landed on the disabled list -- one day after he flew from Cincinnati back to El Paso.
"It's still pretty exciting," he said. "This is where I want to be, so every time I'm up here, it's a blessing. It is something to laugh about a bit, I guess. But it's still exciting."
Before this stint, Quackenbush's longest stint in the big leagues was two days, and that came last month when he was with the team for two days in Washington D.C.
He figures to be around longer this time -- at least through Monday's off-day before the Padres open a two-game series against the Twins at Petco Park.
The travel for Quackenbush, getting from where El Paso is playing, to reach the big league team hasn't been bad, he said.
He recently had a somewhat harrowing experience changing planes in Dallas on the way from El Paso to Cincinnati. Three flights were canceled, but he ended up taking a late flight into Dayton and then a cab to Cincinnati.
Typically, a player on the 40-man roster is allotted three Minor League option years. He can be sent to the Minor Leagues and recalled as often as needed over those three option years.
The player has to remain in the Minor Leagues for 10 days upon being optioned unless he's recalled to replace a player on the disabled list, paternity leave or the bereavement list. He can also be recalled prior to 10 days if being used as the 26th man on a roster for a doubleheader.
Headley held out of lineup, starts finale on bench
DENVER -- Third baseman Chase Headley got a rare start off Sunday, as manager Bud Black wanted to give him at least a few innings off in Sunday's series finale against the Rockies.
Headley had made seven consecutive starts since he was reinstated from the disabled list on May 10 after missing 14 games with a right calf strain.
"He has been [playing a lot], he played both games of the doubleheader [in Cincinnati], Friday and also Saturday," Black said. "We felt this was a good day to give him off from starting."
Alexi Amarista got the start at third base against the Rockies.
Since returning from the disabled list, Headley is hitting .208 in 24 at-bats with two home runs, six RBIs, six strikeouts and five walks.