SAN DIEGO -- No one likes getting sent back to the Minor Leagues, but when Padres infielder Lance Zawadzki was informed Friday he was heading back to Triple-A Portland, he said he was actually looking forward to it.
"I know what I need to do at that level," said Zawadzki, who was sent to Portland when shortstop Everth Cabrera was reinstated from the disabled list before Friday's game with the Dodgers at PETCO Park.
Zawadzki hit .182 with two hits in six games. He scored the lone run in the Padres' victory over the Giants on Thursday, reaching base on a double before Mat Latos' RBI single.
Zawadzki made three starts and noted the three starting pitchers that he faced -- Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies), Roy Oswalt (Astros) and Jonathan Sanchez (Giants) -- weren't too shabby.
"I saw the best of the best," Zawadzki said. "It's a lot different went you see them on TV or in a video game."
Zawadzki said his experience with the Padres "was awesome. We were winning the whole time, and it was cool to contribute."
Zawadzki will report to Nashville, where Portland is playing a series. He was hitting .162 with the Beavers at the time he was promoted. He's looking forward to going back to that level, where he'll, more often than not, be playing every day.
"From a personal standpoint, the big leagues always looked so far away," he said. "... To feel like you belong was great. I saw what it takes to maintain a winning environment."
San Diego manager Bud Black was first impressed with Zawadzki in Spring Training and he was a natural to recall from Portland when Cabrera went on the 15-day disabled list on April 30 with a strained right hamstring.
"He did a nice job," Black said. "He's making progress, getting closer here. He showed well. The challenge is to go back [to Triple-A] and play like he did in Spring Training."