Headley welcomes rest after first full game

Headley welcomes rest after first full game

SAN FRANCISCO -- Third baseman Chase Headley was certainly excited about playing in his first game of the season Wednesday in Los Angeles.

He was pretty excited about Thursday as well, as the team had an off-day in San Francisco before opening a three-game series Friday at AT&T Park.

Sightseeing excursion? Not exactly.

Headley said he needed the day to recuperate from playing nine innings for the first time since coming back from a fractured tip of his left thumb. He missed the first 14 games of the season.

"It was good timing. I was tired," Headley said Friday. "That's the first time I've played nine innings all year. I'm definitely not disappointed we had yesterday off after a [nearly] four-hour game."

Headley went 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI single in a 7-2 victory over the Dodgers that gave the Padres their first sweep of a series of three games or more at Dodger Stadium since 2006.

In four Minor League rehabilitation stints with Class A Lake Elsinore, Headley played seven, seven and five innings defensively at third base before rejoining the team.

Headley was in the starting lineup Friday and hit third against the Giants, rapping a sacrifice fly in the first inning. If history is any indication, he'll be in there a lot, as he's played in at least 156 games in three of the past four seasons.

Now, he said, it's just a matter of getting his body used to playing every day again.

"It's going to take a little time to get into the usual grind with my body," Headley said. "But I think it will come back quick."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.