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Street returns from DL back into closer's role

Street returns from DL back into closer's role

Street returns from DL back into closer's role

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres got their closer back.

Huston Street was activated off the 15-day disabled list Friday, which put the Padres' bullpen back in order.

The right-hander deemed himself fully recovered from a calf injury that sidelined him on May 29, when he blew his first save of the season.

While the downtime healed Street's strained left calf, it also allowed him to get steady work for the first time this season. Street threw several bullpen sessions, a simulated game and a one-inning Minor League rehab assignment for Class A Lake Elsinore on Wednesday.

"I got a ton of work in over the last two weeks, which was beneficial considering how little I was pitching in games before the injury," Street said. "It was more maintenance than anything else, and it helped me stay sharp and ready.

"It's tough to get your work in when you're just waiting to pitch. There isn't a work schedule that works for a reliever who could be called upon any day. I'm healthy. I'm confident in what I'm doing. I'm ready to go."

Street had a disjointed start to the season. He converted his first 11 save opportunities, but was 0-3 with a 4.43 ERA due in large part to the long ball. Street allowed seven home runs in 20 1/3 innings.

Street was elevating pitches too often, and opponents have punished his mistakes.

Padres manager Bud Black said Street worked out some kinks, and his location will be better for it.

"To be quite frank, I think his slider needed some work and he got that work in on the side," Black said. "We'll see how it goes when he pitches in games, but we're happy he was able to throw so much. Based on how he has thrown the ball recently, he seems to be on target with location."

Street's presence allows the bullpen to regain form.

Left-handed reliever Tommy Layne was optioned to Triple-A Tucson to make room for Street.

Luke Gregerson falls back into a setup role, which allows Dale Thayer to enter in crucial situations earlier in games. Gregerson had three saves in four opportunities while Street was out. Thayer had a save Monday.

"Luke and Dale are great players and they did a great job stepping in and closing games out," Street said. "But they told me if there was a save situation tonight, I'd be in there. That's what you want when you come back, to get the next out and secure a victory right away."

Scott Bair is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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