KC@SD: Grandal ties it with a three-run shot to right

SAN DIEGO -- It wasn't a 100th hit or 100th home run, but Yasmani Grandal nevertheless completed a milestone this week by catching back-to-back games for the first time this season on Monday and Tuesday.

Following reconstructive surgery on his right knee last Aug. 6, the Padres have been bringing Grandal along cautiously as they build up his strength and endurance. He had not caught consecutive games since before he was injured last July 7, and not only that, he worked above and beyond: Grandal caught all 12 innings of Monday night's game with the Royals and then he caught all 11 the following night with Kansas City.

Despite the extra duty, Grandal, who was not in Wednesday's lineup, was a happy man.

"It feels good," the catcher said. "My body is a little banged up, but the knee feels great."

Grandal expects to catch back-to-back games again this season. Rene Rivera, who has been behind the plate for each of Andrew Cashner's starts this year, again had that duty in Wednesday's rubber game with the Royals.

As for Grandal's body being a "little banged up", he said it was just the general soreness that goes along with his position.

"I didn't play for a whole year," he said. "So you get thumb soreness, hand soreness, little tweaks here and there. Your back, your legs ... typical of an athlete's body.

"But I get here early enough that by the time the game starts, I'm good to go. And when the adrenaline starts pumping, everything goes away."

Padres promote Ambriz, Peterson optioned

KC@SD: Ambriz records first strikeout for the Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Following consecutive extra-inning games, there was a pretty good indication that the Padres would need to re-stock on some pitching.

Prior to Wednesday's series finale against the Royals, right-hander Hector Ambriz was recalled from Triple-A El Paso and infielder Jace Peterson was optioned to El Paso.

Peterson, the Padres' No. 7 prospect, according to MLB.com, was hitting .174 with a .208 on-base percentage and no homers or RBIs in 24 plate appearances over 10 games. At the time of his callup a couple of weeks ago, Peterson had played only 17 games above the Class A level.

"When you get here, winning is what matters, and I didn't help us win," Peterson said.

Still, to be sent back to Triple-A instead of Class A or Double-A is a moral victory for Peterson, who bypassed Triple-A on his way to the big leagues.

"I really learned a lot," Peterson said. "I learned how guys approach the game up here. The guys helped a lot. It was good."

Peterson will play shortstop, third base and second base at El Paso. He has not played second regularly since his freshman year of college, but Padres manager Bud Black wants Peterson to increase his versatility. After all, Peterson mostly played shortstop in the Minors, but he was pressed into duty at third base when Chase Headley was placed on the disabled list with a calf injury.

As for Ambriz, 29, he was 1-0 with a 1.62 ERA in 14 relief appearances for El Paso. He has appeared in 95 Major League games over parts of three seasons with the Indians and Astros, going 3-7 with a 5.37 ERA.

Ambriz made his Padres debut with two innings in relief during Wednesday's 8-0 loss to the Royals. Ambriz allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits with two walks and one strikeout of Billy Butler in the eighth.

Worth noting

SD@WSH: Headley leaves the game with strained calf

• One thing third baseman Chase Headley was hoping for on his injury rehabilitation assignment with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore was to face a left-handed starter, and he did that on Tuesday night. Next up on his checklist: Rejoining the Padres on Saturday, when he is eligible to come off of the disabled list.

• Carlos Quentin, meanwhile, flied out in a pinch-hitting appearance for the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas on Wednesday. Black said prior to the Padres' 8-0 loss to the Royals that Quentin is making progress but offered no timetable on his return as he recovers from a bruised left knee.

"There's got to be a point we feel he's in a state to contribute both physically and endurance-wise," Black said after the loss. "He hasn't played in a good six or seven weeks."

• The fact that the Padres' bullpen had compiled a Major League-best 1.87 ERA entering Wednesday's series finale with Kansas City played huge in light of another key statistic: The Padres had played 24 games decided by two or fewer runs, also a Major League-high.