Thayer's return to closing for Padres a breeze

Thayer's return to closing for Padres a breeze

Thayer's return to closing for Padres a breeze
ATLANTA -- There wasn't much drama in Dale Thayer's return to the closer role for the Padres against the Braves on Monday.

Thayer, filling in for injured All-Star closer Huston Street for the second time this season, needed all of 10 pitches to dispense with the Braves in the ninth inning of a 4-1 victory.

"They were swinging early, so that makes it a lot easier," Thayer said.

The Padres feel comfortable -- and very fortunate -- to have Thayer on the staff, especially since Street has now missed 32 games, 29 with a strained right lat muscle and three more with a strained left calf injury he sustained Friday in Pittsburgh.

For Thayer, his save against the Braves was his first since May 19 against the Angels. He converted all five of his save opportunities in May, when Street was first on the DL.

He's appeared in 42 games this season, boasts a 3.51 ERA and opponents are hitting .245 against him. Most of those appearances have come in a setup role after Street returned from the disabled list on June 5.

But those innings and situations rate differently than attempting to get those final three outs of a game, Thayer said.

"I think you get a little more adrenaline going and you've almost got to tone it down to make sure you throw strikes," he said. "It's just a little different."

The 31-year-old Thayer, of course, is no stranger to closing game. He entered this season with 173 saves over a 10-year Minor League career.