The San Diego Padres seem to be benefiting from interleague play.
They're also finding success in extra innings.
A day after needing 17 innings to get their latest victory over an AL foe, the Padres will try to make things easier on themselves when they face the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night.
San Diego (25-29) has won five of seven in interleague play after being swept in a three-game series at Tampa Bay from May 10-12.
The Padres are also 3-1 in extra innings, winning two of their last three when playing beyond the ninth.
The hit made Guzman 2 for 22 over his last 12 games.
Gyorko has been much more consistent, particularly at home and during interleague play. The rookie second baseman is batting .347 at pitcher-friendly Petco Park compared to .198 on the road.
He's also 10 for 25 (.400) with one homer, four RBIs and six runs in his last six contests against AL opponents.
"We talked about it, whether to use a position player or go to one of our starters, and we felt that was the thing to do," manager Bud Black said. "We wanted to win the game."
That leaves Black relying on Erlin, whose only experience in the majors is allowing two runs in two innings over two relief outings before returning to the minors May 2.
The 22-year-old left-hander is 4-0 with a 3.79 ERA in eight games - all starts - for Tucson, but he's pitched past the fifth inning just once. That could be an issue since the Padres used eight pitchers Friday.
Toronto (23-32), which has dropped four of five on the road, is in the same position after going to the bullpen seven times in the opener. However, the Blue Jays are scheduled to turn to Mark Buehrle (2-3, 5.51 ERA), who is second among active pitchers with 2,746 innings pitched and fifth with 28 complete games.
He's completed at least six innings in each of his last six starts.
The veteran left-hander did that again Monday, allowing one run with six strikeouts in six innings of a 9-3 win over Atlanta. He had been 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA over his previous seven outings.
"Everything's been down in the zone, so when you're down in the zone pretty much the only thing they can do with it is hit it down," Buehrle told the team's official website. "It's always good when I'm getting ground balls instead of fly balls - I'll take fly-ball outs - but when they're hitting the ball on the ground, that's kind of my game."
Buehrle is 1-0 with a 0.54 ERA in two career starts versus the Padres. He was superb at Petco on May 2, 2012, tossing a five-hitter in a 4-1 win with Miami.
It's unclear if he'll have to face Yonder Alonso , who suffered a right hand contusion after being hit by a pitch from Aaron Loup in the seventh inning Friday. The first baseman has at least one hit in 16 of the past 19 games, compiling a .313 average.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||15-Day DL||Left ankle sprain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||Day-to-Day||Ankle sprain|
|May 19, 2013||Darren Oliver||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|May 11, 2013||Rajai Davis||15-Day DL||Strained oblique|
|May 10, 2013||Rajai Davis||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained oblique|
|May 08, 2013||J.A. Happ||60-Day DL||Head contusion|
|San Diego Padres|
|May 31, 2013||Yonder Alonso||Day-to-Day||Bruised hand|
|May 05, 2013||Clayton Richard||15-Day DL||Intestinal virus|
|May 05, 2013||Clayton Richard||15-Day DL||Intestinal virus|
|May 03, 2013||Carlos Quentin||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|April 21, 2013||Kyle Blanks||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left shoulder injury|
|April 20, 2013||Clayton Richard||Day-to-Day||Flu|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- While Robbie Erlin was expecting to make a start on Saturday night, he never thought it would be in the major leagues.
Erlin (1-0) won his first major league start after being called up to help a depleted staff, Everth Cabrera had three hits and two RBIs, and the San Diego Padres beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 for the second time Saturday.
Scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Tucson on Saturday, Erlin was instead needed by the Padres because scheduled starter Clayton Richard was forced to pitch two innings in relief in the Padres' 17-inning, 4-3 win that began Friday night and ended early Saturday.
"At midnight last night, I got the call that I was flying here instead," Erlin said. "I was actually on my way to Phoenix because the Tucson Padres were flying out of there, so it was a little change to my schedule."
Erlin, a left-hander, made two appearances in his previous stint with San Diego earlier this season, but started for the first time and allowed two runs over 6 2-3 innings. He gave up eight hits and struck out four while not issuing a walk.
"I'd say it was helpful, because I knew what to expect," Erlin said of making his debut earlier in the season. "Everything was more familiar. I was surprisingly calm. It just came down to executing pitches."
San Diego improved to 15-6 in its last 21 games at Petco Park, and the Padres have won four of their last five at home.
"It really worked out," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Based on last night's game and having Clayton have to pitch last night, it fell on Robbie's day today. That is something that you don't plan, but when it works out, you feel fortunate."
Both of Cabrera's run-scoring hits were infield singles. In the second inning, Cabrera reached on a groundball up the third base line that Toronto starter Mark Buehrle fielded and threw wide past first base.
"I think I hesitated a second, looked up and realized Edwin (Encarnacion) was charging. By the time I turned and threw it, I was off balance," said Buehrle, who has won four straight Gold Gloves.
Buehrle (2-4) had not committed an error since 2011 and has only three since 2008. He allowed four runs - three earned - and a season-high 10 hits over six innings while striking out two and walking one.
"You're coming in knowing the bullpen is worn out and you want to go as deep as you can," Buehrle said. "But today was one of those days. I didn't have much. I had to battle through the whole game."
Adam Lind had two hits against Erlin, including a solo homer in the fourth. Lind also had a hit taken away by a diving catch by left fielder Carlos Quentin in the sixth.
"We swung the bats really well," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "But we got beat by a couple of infield hits. That's baseball. That happens sometimes."
Luke Gregerson allowed a run in the ninth but converted his first save in two opportunities. Gregerson filled in for closer Huston Street , who earlier in the day was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf muscle.
NOTES: No Padres player before Cabrera has driven in two runs on infield hits. . Buehrle has not allowed a home run in five straight starts after giving up 11 homers in his first seven games. The loss was Buerhle's first against San Diego in three career starts. ... Richard will start Tuesday in Los Angeles. ... RHP Ramon Ortiz (1-2, 5.01) will start on Sunday for Toronto after being recalled prior to Saturday's game when Brandon Morrow was placed on the DL with a forearm strain. ... RHP Edinson Volquez (4-5, 5.20) starts for San Diego on in the series finale on Sunday.