PHOENIX -- Not needing a fifth starter until Tuesday in Seattle, the Padres recalled left-handed reliever Tommy Layne from Triple-A Tucson on Friday to fill the vacated roster spot left by Burch Smith, who was optioned following his start against the Cardinals on Wednesday.
Layne was 1-3 with a 4.00 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 18 innings of relief with Tucson this season, but the 28-year-old didn't give up a run in his last five outings.
"Any time you get the phone call to come up and help, it's definitely a bit surprising," Layne said. "I've been on better runs pitching and not gotten the chance to pitch in the big leagues."
Layne made 26 appearances for the Padres last season, finishing with a 3.24 ERA and 25 strikeouts. He was disappointed not to make the club out of camp this year, but given how much he struggled in Spring Training -- 11 runs in 10 innings -- Layne knew he had work to do.
"Things definitely weren't clicking like they should've been, and they've got to take the seven best [arms] for the bullpen, so I don't fault them for not picking me," he said. "It was disappointing, but motivating."
By his own admission, Layne continued to get beat up on at the start of the season in the Minors, allowing eight runs in his first 13 innings. But after some reflection, the southpaw turned things around.
"I picked up in Tucson where I left off in Spring Training," he said. "So I just got back into what I was doing last year -- I got back to attacking hitters, and if they get you, they get you. It's been successful for me the last few times out."
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.