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Smith returns to Padres, could get start

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres recalled right-handed pitcher Burch Smith from Triple-A Tucson on Monday, reinforcing a pitching staff that could be in need of a starter soon.

Smith is coming off a solid start with Tucson in which he tossed seven shutout innings while striking out 10 batters and allowing only three hits and no walks. With Friday's spot in the starting rotation potentially available due to extra rest for Andrew Cashner, Smith could be in line to take that turn.

"He'll be in our bullpen today," Padres manager Bud Black said prior to Monday's game. "We are going to decide whether to give him a start here going forward. He's coming off a good start in his last outing with Tucson. He's feeling good."

While Black did not commit to a specific date for giving Smith a start, the 23-year-old could slide right into the rotation where he made three starts earlier this season. He has gone 0-1 with a 18.41 ERA in the starting rotation, but posted a 5-1 record with a 3.39 ERA in 12 starts for Tucson.

This will be Smith's fourth stint with the Padres, having shuttled back and forth from Tucson in his first season in the Majors. Smith has also made three relief appearances for the Padres, allowing one run over 5 1/3 innings.

Tim Powers is a contributor to
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