Stairs makes his starting debut for Padres

Stairs makes his starting debut for Padres

CINCINNATI -- On Friday, veteran Matt Stairs became the last position player on the 25-man roster to make a start for the Padres.

Stairs got the start in left field against Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo, a pitcher he was 2-for-4 against in his career. In Stairs' first at-bat he laced a two-run double to right field for his first runs batted in for San Diego.

Stairs, 42, went as far to joke in the clubhouse that it was his "Opening Day" and that he was going to run out to the first-base line when he was announced.

Stairs isn't a complete stranger to the field, even though he was signed to a Minor League deal during the offseason to pinch-hit and possibly be the designated hitter in Interleague games on the road.

Stairs played 15 games in the outfield last season for the Phillies and is an outfielder and first baseman by trade.

Still, he didn't play a single inning in the outfield in Spring Training. Not that he was too concerned about getting re-acclimated to the position.

"I'm excited to hit," said Stairs, who entered the game with eight at-bats over the first 15 games of the season. "I've played out there enough in my career to know that I feel very comfortable out there."

Before the game, Stairs talked about making his Major League debut at the old Riverfront Stadium against the Reds on May 29, 1992. Stairs appeared in that game as a pinch-hitter and struck out against Rob Dibble.

Two days later, Stairs got his first hit against Reds pitcher Jose Rijo.