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Notes: Bradley battling leg injury

Notes: Bradley battling leg injury

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SAN DIEGO -- Padres left fielder Milton Bradley was out of Saturday's lineup because of a strained right hamstring and is day-to-day. He most likely will not start again until the Padres hit the road next week.

"Milton has the hamstring strain," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It doesn't look as though it's a [disabled-list] thing. It is at least a day or two or maybe three. We're going to check him every day."

Bradley suffered the injury in his last at-bat in Thursday's day game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He felt good enough to play in Friday's game against the San Francisco Giants after receiving treatment prior to the game. But after he tried to chase down Dave Roberts' double in the top of the third inning, he felt his hamstring tighten up. He left soon after.

"When Roberts hit that ball in the corner, I took off for it," said Bradley, who immediately felt his hamstring tighten and so he eased back a bit.

"[Black] came to me and said, 'What do you got?'" Bradley told reporters. "I said it's tight, sore. I felt like I did during the day game, I couldn't get loose."

Black then told Bradley that it would be better if he just came out of the game.

"It's [a] slight strain. I don't think it was anything too major," Bradley said. "It's sore, it's on the inside of my ham."

Bradley hopes to get back as soon as he can. But in the meantime, he's doing exercises to help strengthen his legs, especially after finding out that his hips aren't aligned correctly.

Bradley is no stranger to injuries. He's been plagued with them since he broke into the Majors in 2000 with the Montreal Expos.

"It just seems like all seven years I've been playing, there's always been something to bug me, that I can't go out there and play without anything," Bradley said.

"It's something that's just there to bug me."

Bradley was acquired by the Padres on June 29. He sat out in his first week with the Padres because of an oblique injury he suffered when he was with the Oakland Athletics.

Since coming to San Diego, Bradley has played a pivotal role in its offense. Bradley held the No. 3 spot in the lineup and was batting .329 with 22 RBIs and seven home runs.

"He's too valuable as we push forward," Black said.

Giles still out Bradley joined another injured outfielder, Brian Giles, on the bench during Saturday's game.

Giles missed his third consecutive game Saturday because of a sprained right ankle. He will most likely not start until the Padres' next series in St. Louis, which begins on Monday.

"He's improving and he's better today, but it might not be [Sunday]," Black said. "It could be [Sunday], but we're probably looking toward the road trip."

Giles slammed into the right-field scoreboard in Wednesday's game against the Diamondbacks. He left during the fifth inning because he felt his ankle swell up, and it still remains so, although it does feel a little better.

"A lot of swelling," Giles said Saturday. "I have to get that down and be able to tolerate the pain. ... It's too tender right now and we don't want it to regress.

"Today, [I] had a lot more comfort on it than I did yesterday. Hopefully, we keep making that progression and hopefully Monday I'll be able to tape it up real tight and go out there and it won't bother me."

This is Giles' second injury of the season. He was out for almost six weeks between May and June with a bruised right knee. To be out again is not something Giles enjoys.

"Yeah, it's boring sitting here not playing," Giles said. "Hopefully in a couple days, it will be good and I'll be able to get out here and play."

Giles is also not bummed about being on the bench while Barry Bonds tries to make history in PETCO Park.

"We're trying to win baseball games and a division," Giles said. "What Barry's doing is great but our focus is on winning baseball games and we are in a race right now."

Hairston makes first start in left: Scott Hairston hit two clutch home runs for the Padres in Friday's win over the Giants. And now, he's been rewarded with a start in left field, his first since being acquired by the Padres just a week ago from Arizona.

Hairston came off the bench Friday when Bradley left the game. With Bradley out, the Padres will not miss a beat since Hairston is proving his worth.

"I was able to prepare myself, gather myself and contribute," Hairston said. "I just take one day at a time, whether I'm in the starting lineup or coming off the bench. Every day is a new challenge and hopefully I can contribute today and help the team win."

After belting a leadoff homer Saturday, Hairston's batting average stood at .225 with 21 RBIs and six home runs.

On deck: The Padres start their final game of a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants at 1:05 p.m. PT at PETCO Park on Sunday. Justin Germano (6-6, 4.38 ERA) gets the start for San Diego. The Giants will counter with Noah Lowry (12-7, 3.32).

Elizabeth M. Botello is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Sandy Burgin contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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