Padres bolster lineup with Alonso's return
Ciriaco designated for assignment; Mikalos sent to Triple-A
SAN DIEGO -- It was a busy day of roster shuffling for the Padres on Friday, as three players went on the 25-man roster with three more on their way off it.
One of the most notable moves involved the reinstatement of first baseman Yonder Alonso from the 15-day disabled list after he missed 34 games with a broken bone in his right hand.
Alonso was in the starting lineup for the first time since May 31 as the Padres played the Giants in the second game of a four-game series at Petco Park.
"Everything feels good. We did all the things we needed to do to feel good," Alonso said. "It's good to be back."
Alonso was hitting .284 with six home runs and 29 RBIs in his first 190 at-bats before he was hit with a pitch on the right hand in an Interleague game against the Blue Jays.
"He was on a pretty consistent start; his numbers were holding their own," said Padres manager Bud Black. "It was a bummer it was interrupted by the broken hand."
At first, Alonso tried to rest the hand and he received treatment. Finally, he went on the disabled list June 4, retroactive to May 31.
Alonso appeared in four games with Triple-A Tucson this week on a rehabilitation assignment, collecting eight hits in 14 at-bats. Black said Thursday there was a "high probability" Alonso would be back for Friday's game.
Alonso felt like he turned a corner, mentally at least, when he got his first at-bat with Tucson on July 8.
"After that first at-bat, taking that first swing, once I got past that, I knew I was going to be fine," he said.
Joining Alonso on the active roster Friday was second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who was reinstated from the disabled list after missing 30 games with a right groin strain.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco was designated for assignment, pitcher Clayton Richard -- who will have surgery on his left shoulder next week -- was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL and pitcher Miles Mikolas was optioned to Tucson. Ciriaco was out of Minor League options.
Pitcher Sean O'Sullivan had his contract purchased so he could be added to the 40-man roster. He got the start Friday against the Giants.
Ciriaco, who filled in at shortstop for an injured Everth Cabrera, hit .238 in 63 at-bats. The Padres hope to retain him and send him to Triple-A.
Richard will have surgery to shave down his left clavicle so he no longer has trouble with his left AC joint. He'll miss the rest of the season, finishing 2-5 with a 7.01 ERA.
Mikolas pitched a scoreless inning in Thursday's loss to the Giants, his lone appearances with the team in 2013.
The Padres now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
Black ejected arguing interference call
SAN DIEGO -- Padres manager Bud Black was ejected from Friday's game against the Giants for arguing an obstruction call on the bases in the seventh inning.
Black was ejected by second-base umpire Laz Diaz for arguing a rundown play that turned into an obstruction call when Padres third baseman Chase Headley collided with Kensuke Tanaka as he attempted to avoid the tag.
"It just looked real funky ... and with the way our players reacted and seeing the runner on the grass, it just look awkward," Black said. "He [Diaz] had his point of view."
With Brandon Crawford on first base, Tanaka at second base and Andres Torres at the plate, Padres relief pitcher Brad Brach threw a ball that bounced off catcher Nick Hundley's glove as both runners attempted to advance.
Hundley threw to first baseman Yonder Alonso, who then threw to Headley. Headley ran Tanaka back to second base and first made contact on the grass near the edge of the dirt after throwing the ball to second baseman Jedd Gyorko.
"Obstruction is when you're not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, you hinder the progress of the runner. Neither of those two apply to him [Headley]. He has to disappear at that moment. It was a textbook obstruction case," crew chief Mike Winters told a pool reporter after the game.
Diaz immediately signaled for obstruction as the Padres vehemently protested. Black argued briefly with Diaz and was ejected, his second of the season.
"We looked up the rule, but from our vantage point, he was three or four feet in on the grass," Gyorko said. "It was just one of those weird plays."
According to baseball's Rule 7.08, a runner's baseline is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely. Diaz felt Tanaka didn't veer from his path.
"When Headley threw the ball to second, before Tanaka could turn around and go back to third, he ran right into him," Diaz said.
The Giants scored five runs in that seventh inning and eventually won, 10-1.
Padres activate Gyorko from disabled list
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres are hoping that their offense will receive a spark by activating their Opening Day second baseman Jedd Gyorko from the disabled list.
Gyorko played second base and hit sixth for Friday's game against the Giants. He was placed on the disabled list June 10 after straining his right groin running the bases, but was expected to return after the 15 days. However, the road back was more difficult than he initially thought.
Gyorko suffered a setback June 26, while on his first rehab assignment with Double-A San Antonio, when his leg tightened up and forced him to leave the game.
The Padres have handled him with caution since then. He slowly worked his way back to a second rehab assignment -- two games with Class A Lake Elsinore on Wednesday and Thursday -- where he was 4-for-7 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
The Padres decided after Thursday's game that Gyorko was ready.
"If he was going to play, let's play him here," said Padres manager Bud Black. "His leg feels that good."
The Padres have three games remaining before the All-Star break and Gyorko thinks that had a factor into the decision for him to be activated now. After Sunday, he'll be able to take some time off to rest his legs.
The Padres will be glad to have him back. Before Gyorko's injury, he was one of their hottest hitters with a .284 average, eight home runs, 25 RBIs and 36 runs scored.
They have been scuffling recently as well, losing 12 of their last 13 games.
"It's tough to sit there and watch," Gyorko said. "We obviously want to be out there and help. When you get on the disabled list and get hurt, you know that there's not a whole lot you can do. It definitely gets frustrating."
Now the Padres' lineup is a lot more formidable with the return of Gyroko and first baseman Yonder Alonso.
"This is closer to the lineup we expected to have," Black said. "When they're all doing what they are capable of doing, we think offensively this is a lineup that's going to be productive."
Blanks goes on DL with Achilles tendinitis
SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Kyle Blanks has been hampered on and off by his left heel since the Padres were in Colorado at the beginning of June.
It bothered him again during the three games in Boston from July 2-4, where he missed a game and was the designated hitter for another.
He'll finally get some time to rest his heel, as the club placed Blanks on the 15-day disabled list Friday with left Achilles tendinitis.
"This gives us an opportunity to let it quiet down," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He'll stay off it for a week or so."
Blanks will play catch and hit, but will stay away from running and cardio.
He was having a career year in nearly every offensive category including doubles, RBIs and games played. Blanks was hitting .256 with 13 doubles, eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 67 games this season.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.