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Blanks comfortable with spot start at first

SAN DIEGO -- Before Friday's game against Washington, Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks made sure to get extra work in defensively -- but this time it was at first base.

Blanks took time fielding hard ground balls to his left and right, firing to second base to start a double play or flipping to first base where Padres manager Bud Black acted as the pitcher covering the base.

Friday marks the first time this season that Blanks will start a game at first base for the Padres. However, he did play first base earlier this season -- for only an inning -- and he could barely even remember it.

"It's been a while," Blanks said.

Blanks came up through the Minors as a first baseman before he was moved to the outfield in 2009.

He still takes grounders often just to make sure he keeps himself fresh for when he's needed at first. First baseman Yonder Alonso got the day off, although he has appeared in all 40 games for the Padres this season.

"I think you'll see any guy in here that plays multiple positions will always make sure they get the proper repetition," Blanks said. "That's one of those things that I feel like as long as I stay current, always kind of covering those bases and go into the game comfortable, I'm happy."

Blanks is hitting .245 in his 21 games this season, mostly as a player coming off the bench.

"If my name's on that paper, regardless of where it is, that's really all that matters," Blanks said. "I think that just being available at all those positions lends you to being a little more flexible, and if it allows you to get into more games, that's all you can ask for."

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for
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