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Galvis proud to be MLB's active ironman

Padres' shortstop starts 256th straight game on Monday
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres played 16 innings and 5 1/2 hours in Arizona on Sunday. Sure enough, Freddy Galvis was right back in the starting lineup on Monday night. Why wouldn't he be? Freddy Galvis is always in the lineup.

When Galvis trotted to shortstop on Monday night against the Dodgers, it marked the 256th consecutive game in which he's played. It's not quite Cal Ripken Jr.'s record of 2,632 straight. But as of Monday night, Galvis' streak is the longest active in Major League Baseball.

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SAN DIEGO -- The Padres played 16 innings and 5 1/2 hours in Arizona on Sunday. Sure enough, Freddy Galvis was right back in the starting lineup on Monday night. Why wouldn't he be? Freddy Galvis is always in the lineup.

When Galvis trotted to shortstop on Monday night against the Dodgers, it marked the 256th consecutive game in which he's played. It's not quite Cal Ripken Jr.'s record of 2,632 straight. But as of Monday night, Galvis' streak is the longest active in Major League Baseball.

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The Royals gave shortstop Alcides Escobar the day off on Sunday afternoon, bringing his streak to an end at 421 games. Galvis was next in line.

"It means a lot," Galvis said. "I'm proud of my work ethic and being able to play every game. ... I want to play every single day. That's my mindset. I always want to be on the field."

At the plate, the season has been a grind for Galvis. He's hitting .236/.297/.336. But he's been excellent defensively, and his durability has been critical for an organization without a true backup shortstop.

"He's here early, he does whatever treatment he needs to do, he's in the weight room, he takes care of his body, and he eats well," said infielders coach Josh Johnson. "The guy knows how to do it. He's a pro. He takes every opportunity he can get to get better."

The Padres acquired Galvis from the Phillies following the Winter Meetings in December. They parted with pitching prospect Enyel De Los Santos, who is slated to make his big league debut on Tuesday night. It's certainly fair to be skeptical of the Padres' decision to trade a prospect for a shortstop in the final year of his contract.

Still, there's no denying Galvis' positive effect on a young Padres clubhouse.

"He has a huge impact," Johnson said. "He's not talking the talk. He's walking the walk. Really, he's not saying anything. He leads by example. He's a pro. That's the easiest way I can put it."

Galvis has a number of theories as to why he's been so durable. Chief among them: diet, stretching, workouts, routine -- and perhaps a bit of luck.

As for the streak? He made a pact with himself to pursue an everyday role in the most literal sense. He hasn't missed a game since Oct. 1, 2016.

"When I came to the big leagues, I was a utility player for Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley and Placido Polanco," Galvis said. "I'd always played baseball every day, since I was a little kid. Every game. If we had a game, I played it. In the Minor Leagues, too.

"Then I got to the big leagues, and I was sitting on the bench, and I was like, I don't want to be here. I want to be playing baseball on the field. When I got the opportunity to start playing every day in Philadelphia, I said, alright, I'm going to make the most of this. My mindset became: I want to play every day. That's what I love to do."

So how long does Galvis plan on holding the title as baseball's active ironman?

"My body is going to say," Galvis said. "But my mind is always going to want to play."

Video: SD@ARI: Diaz strikes out four in 11th

Spangenberg, Diaz optioned
Following Sunday's 16-inning victory in Phoenix, the Padres found themselves in dire need of bullpen help. That came with a somewhat surprising consequence.

Infielder Cory Spangenberg was optioned to Triple-A El Paso, clearing room for right-handers Walker Lockett and Phil Maton to be recalled. The Padres also optioned righty Miguel Diaz, who was recalled prior to Sunday's game and pitched two scoreless frames -- including the second four-strikeout inning in franchise history.

Spangenberg is hitting .232/.264/.378 with six homers this season, but over the past month, he had turned things around a bit. He was hitting .279 and had been solid defensively.

"It's tough to send Cory Spangenberg down for another pitcher," Green said. "Those are the unfortunate ramifications of a 16-inning baseball game. Guys have to get optioned because you need some fresh arms."

Lockett is a starter for El Paso, and his presence in the Majors is mostly in case of emergency. The Padres' primary long men -- Matt Strahm, Robbie Erlin and Phil Hughes -- have all pitched multiple innings in the past couple of days. Maton, meanwhile, could earn an extended stay with his performance. He has a 1.53 ERA in 17 games for the big league club this season.

Video: SD@ATL: Lyles fans 6 over 7 innings of 1-run ball

Padres eye All-Star break for Lyles
Jordan Lyles threw his first bullpen session on Sunday, as he recovers from right elbow inflammation that has sidelined him since late June. The Padres are optimistic that Lyles could make a rehab start at one of their affiliates during the All-Star break next week.

Lyles is slated for another bullpen session on Wednesday at Petco Park, and it's possible he throws live batting practice before one of the weekend games against the Cubs. If all goes well, he'd be in line for a rehab outing after that.

In 21 appearances this season -- including eight starts -- Lyles has posted a 4.46 ERA. He's mixed some excellent outings with some shaky ones, but has been mostly solid since his move to the rotation in early May.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Freddy Galvis