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Gale excited to join Padres after journey in Minors

Edwards, acquired in Venable trade, also joins San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- Two new faces in the Padres' clubhouse, catcher Rocky Gale and pitcher Jon Edwards, have both endured different, but rewarding journeys to land in sunny San Diego.

Both Gale and Edwards were called up on Wednesday, along with outfielder Alex Dickerson, as Yonder Alonso, Shawn Kelley and Derek Norris all left Tuesday's 8-6 loss with injuries.

Norris was back in the lineup on Thursday and started at catcher. Assistant general manager Josh Stein said that Kelley required more rest, while Alonso had improved and could pinch-hit

Gale, who was drafted by the Padres in the 24th round of the 2010 Draft, is making his first Major League stint. He hit .307 with 39 RBIs in 102 games with Triple-A El Paso.

"[Being called up is] very special," Gale said "Obviously I am very excited for my family and for all the people who have helped along my journey that get to be a part of it. Very grateful to the Padres for my development throughout those years. It's been a while in the Minor Leagues, so I really appreciate all the opportunities I got to improve my game."

Gale spent six years in the Minors before getting the call from interim manager Pat Murphy, who joked with Gale before filling him in with the news. Murphy called Gale to ask about pitchers in El Paso, then hung up and called back to ask about one more pitcher before finally telling Gale what he wanted to hear.

"I was like, 'At this point, let's get on with it here, say the words,'" Gale said. "We were kind of anticipating it I guess in a way, you are hoping. Last year I felt close, I thought this is really something I could get to. So I stuck with it and I'm glad that it paid off."

Edwards, who was acquired on Aug. 21 in the trade of Will Venable to Texas, made nine appearances with the Rangers this season and had a 1.23 ERA with 23 saves in 37 appearances with El Paso and Triple-A Round Rock.

Edwards was diagnosed with testicular cancer back in December, underwent surgery three days later and was throwing again within a month. Edwards and his wife found out during Spring Training that they are expecting their first child in early November.

"There has been so many things going on transition-wise, changes, but it's all been good I think," Edwards said.

Edwards, whose home is in Texas, said the process of transitioning to a new organization has gone smoothly.

"The guys here have been really welcoming," Edwards said. "I got a lot of phone calls from guys here when I got traded and even from Rangers guys that knew people over here that said, 'Hey you are going to fit in great over here, it's going to be a great transition for you.'"

Edwards was originally drafted as an outfielder by the Cardinals in the 14th round of the 2006 Draft.

Even with the division-leading Dodgers in town for a four-game series, Murphy said some of the recent callups could get into games.

"They will play a role; there is no question," Murphy said. "We are still trying to win games, that's the bottom line. But there are reasons to give them experience, to get them a taste."

Worth noting

• Lefty Frank Garces was called up on Thursday from El Paso and will make his fourth stint of the year with the Padres. Garces, who was optioned on Aug. 14, had a 4.94 ERA in 31 innings for San Diego this season.

Wil Myers played in another game with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore on Thursday as part of his rehab assignment. He went 0-for-3.

• Pitcher Josh Johnson, who has been recovering from Tommy John surgery, will pitch an inning Friday with Lake Elsinore.

Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for
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