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Notes: Roberts ready to go

Notes: Roberts ready to go

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ST. LOUIS -- Padres manager Bruce Bochy had one question for Dave Roberts, and he was given the answer he needed to complete his lineup card for Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Tuesday, a high noon (CT) shootout between the Padres' Jake Peavy and the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter.

Yes, Roberts replied, he's ready to go 100 percent.

"He told me he's good to go, so he's in there," Bochy said 45 minutes before Carpenter was to throw the first pitch to Roberts. "That took care of my concern. He ran [Monday] and felt good. I talked to him and said, `Do you feel like you can go 100 percent? Run?' He said yes."

There had been some question about Roberts' ability to go full speed on a right leg hindered by a muscle pull, forcing the leadoff catalyst out of the final eight games of the regular season.

During Monday's workout, Roberts had said he felt he was 80 to 85 percent, not meeting the 100 percent threshold Bochy had set. But there apparently was improvement in his condition following his workout, and there Roberts was, where the Padres want him, kick-starting the offense against the Redbirds' Cy Young Award candidate, who faltered down the stretch.

"I'm going to play the game," Roberts said. "I'm out there for whatever the situation calls for."

Bochy said Roberts would be operating on all cylinders, adding, "Now's not the time to be cautious."

The Padres were 58-43 with Roberts starting and only 24-37 without him at the top of the order.

In drawing up his batting order, Bochy elected to keep left fielder Ryan Klesko in the No. 2 spot, where he batted during the final week and was effective in working pitchers and drawing walks. Second baseman Mark Loretta, the regular No. 2 hitter, slid into the No. 3 spot.

Behind the top three are right fielder Brian Giles, first baseman Mark Sweeney, catcher Ramon Hernandez, shortstop Khalil Greene, third baseman Joe Randa and Peavy.

"Right now, I'd say we're as well off as we've been all year," Bochy said, mentioning how the club was left for extensive periods of the regular season without Greene, Loretta, Roberts and Hernandez, as well as starting pitcher Adam Eaton, who is scheduled to work either Game 4 or Game 5, if necessary.

Roster set: The Padres elected to go with 10 pitchers for the NLDS, activating third baseman Sean Burroughs with starter Chan Ho Park not included on the 25-man roster.

"We figured 10 pitchers were enough," Bochy said, mentioning that starter Brian Lawrence is available for long relief along with probable Game 3 starter Woody Williams and Clay Hensley. "Burroughs gives us two left-handed hitters off the bench [along with Robert Fick]. And he gives us insurance in case something happens to Randa."

Burroughs had one of his best series of the season defensively at Busch Stadium in May, making a series of superlative defensive plays as the Padres won the first three games before losing the finale.

Burroughs also has a history of good work against two of the Cardinals' best pitchers. He's 3-for-9 (.333) against Carpenter, and he's 3-for-4 (.750) with a double and triple against closer Jason Isringhausen.

"I'll be ready if they call on me," Burroughs said.

After being demoted to Triple-A Portland at midseason and recalled on Aug. 31, Burroughs delivered arguably the most important hit of the Padres' season. His two-out, two-strike, two-run double in the ninth inning rescued the club in San Francisco on Sept. 14, enabling them to avert a sweep with an extra-innings win to keep the Giants six games behind in the NL West race.

Klesko a voice of experience: With 56 games worth of postseason background and a World Series championship ring from 1995 with the Braves, Klesko is a source of experience for a number of Padres unfamiliar with the ways of October baseball.

"Our sense is we're going to win this," Klesko said when asked about the club's mind-set coming into the opener. "The idea is to play free and easy, don't try to do too much. That's the big key. In this first game, don't go up there trying to hit every ball over the fence.

"I remember how it was in my first playoff. I was trying to hit it out of the stadium. I was lucky to have a lot of experienced guys around me on the Braves to calm me down. Guys are going to have butterflies; that's only natural. But you have to stay within yourself and play your game. Just play simple, fundamental baseball: hit the cutoff man, do the right thing."

Klesko feels the four-game series in the season's final week, during which the Padres clinched the division title, could prove invaluable.

"Those games gave us a feel for what playoff baseball is all about," he said. "We knew we had to go out and play in a playoff-type atmosphere, and the guys came through and got the job done. They stepped up and played quality baseball. That's what we have to do against the Cardinals."

On deck: Pedro Astacio (4-2, 3.17 ERA with the Padres) is set to pitch Game 2 against Cardinals' lefty Mark Mulder (16-8, 3.64 ERA).

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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