SAN DIEGO -- When pitcher Kip Wells came on to run for first baseman Yonder Alonso in the midst of the Padres' eighth-inning rally Saturday night against the Reds, it was the first time the starter had appeared as a pinch-runner since he was with the Pirates in 2003.
So while he wasn't in uncharted territory, Wells was well aware it had been quite a long time since he'd played that role.
"You didn't have to tell me it had been awhile," Wells said. "I was just like, man, just don't get picked off, don't run to the wrong base, don't not tag up when I'm supposed to."
Wells managed to do his job, a task made easier by the fact that he was moved base-to-base by a single and walk in that inning. That gave the 33-year-old ample time to catch up with some former teammates -- Wells made seven starts for the Reds in his last Major League stint in 2009.
"I got to go station-to-station, so I ended up going to each place and talking to Joey [Votto] and [Brandon] Phillips and [Todd] Frazier," Wells said.
One of the Reds was even friendly enough to remind the veteran of the importance of his role as the potential tying run.
"I was standing on first and Joey was like, 'You're actually kind of an important run...'," Wells said. "So I started thinking, if the guy hits a gapper right here and I'm going to have to try to score from first, then there's going to be a play at the plate. I'm going to have to wrap-around slide or something."
None of those scenarios came into play, as Wells was stranded at third by a Chris Denorfia fly ball to center.
"Fortunately I wasn't overexposed," Wells said. "I didn't get in the way, just kept the line moving."