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Cahill's first Padres start at Petco 'special'

Padres starting pitcher grew up in northwestern San Diego
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- A decade and a half before his seven brilliant innings in Friday's 5-3 victory over the Marlins, Trevor Cahill was a student at Vista High School watching Padres games from his home in northwestern San Diego county.

"I literally watched every single Padre game on TV throughout high school, just doing homework," Cahill said.

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SAN DIEGO -- A decade and a half before his seven brilliant innings in Friday's 5-3 victory over the Marlins, Trevor Cahill was a student at Vista High School watching Padres games from his home in northwestern San Diego county.

"I literally watched every single Padre game on TV throughout high school, just doing homework," Cahill said.

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It's a Friday night, so there probably weren't too many kids tuning in while they did their algebra. But Cahill turned in masterful display in his first start in a Padres uniform at Petco Park.

Cahill stifled the Marlins over seven innings of one-run ball. He allowed only three hits and, really, only one well-struck baseball -- Marcell Ozuna's solo shot in the top of the second inning.

"I didn't know what it was going to feel like, because I pitched here before," Cahill said. "I've made two starts already. But pitching here, being in the home dugout, as the game was going on, it felt really special."

Cahill is a nine-year veteran who typically does everything he can to keep himself composed.

But he when he dotted the outside corner with a nasty curveball to end the top of the seventh, he hopped off the Petco Park mound and pounded his fist into his glove.

"Usually I'm a guy that the harder I try, the worse I do, being a sinkerballer," said Cahill. "But I was able to be myself, keep the ball down."

Following Ozuna's homer, Cahill allowed a single to Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. He would retire the next 15 batters he faced, before Justin Bour's infield single broke that stretch. Cahill bounced back from that rather nicely, with consecutive strikeouts to end his day.

"I'm sure it was great for him to pitch in front of a good crowd, Friday night, pitched incredibly well," said Padres manager Andy Green. "He kept us in the game."

With the score tied at one in the bottom of the seventh, the Padres opted to pinch hit for Cahill, who was due up to lead off the frame. In his place, Luis Sardinas singled, starting a four-run rally that was punctuated by Austin Hedges' three-run homer.

Cahill signed a one-year deal with the Padres during the offseason, intrigued by the chance to serve as a starter. He spent the majority of the past two seasons pitching in relief for the Cubs and hadn't thrown seven innings since 2014 with Arizona.

"Felt good, I'll see how my body feels tomorrow," Cahill said. "You always want to go deep -- especially being in the bullpen, you realize how important saving a bullpen is. ... Seven innings is kind of what you shoot for as a starter. More than that is gravy. Seven innings, I'll take it."

Surely, a few young Padres fans watching across the city will take it as well.

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

San Diego Padres, Trevor Cahill