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Padres recall Vincent from Minors to bolster 'pen

Mazzoni optioned to Triple-A in corresponding move

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres on Friday recalled right-handed pitcher Nick Vincent from Triple-A El Paso, returning the reliever to the Majors after sending him down in the season's first week.

Vincent, 28, started the season with the Padres and pitched in three games, allowing three runs -- two earned -- over 3 1/3 innings, before the club opted to send him to the Minors.

For his part, Vincent said there wasn't anything in particular that he was trying to work on in Triple-A, save for slightly improving the breaking action on his cut-fastball.

"My cutter was kind of slider-ish, so I was working on that," Vincent said. "I was working on that to make it more of a cutter. Now it's back where it's supposed to be and I'm ready to rock and roll."

Video: SD@LAD: Vincent fans Hazelbaker for first strikeout

Vincent also feels like he is back where he belongs, and he spent the time in El Paso trying to do the same things that led to his success over the past three seasons with the Padres.

"I just went down there and kept doing my thing, doing my work," Vincent said. "Nothing different than what I do up here, just pitching in Triple-A. I just kept working and keep doing the grind and wait for my chance."

With El Paso, Vincent was one of several relief pitchers having success. He appeared in eight games for the Chihuahuas and allowed only one earned run over 9 1/3 innings, while striking out 16 batters.

Given the recent struggles of the Padres' bullpen, manager Bud Black is hoping Vincent can return to form and bolster the relief corps.

"All the guys in El Paso have all been throwing well," Black said. "We've seen Nick pitch good in the big leagues, so hopefully he can do what he's done for most of his career."

In a corresponding move, the club optioned right-hander Cory Mazzoni to El Paso. Mazzoni pitched in two games for the Padres and allowed six earned runs, including two in his Major League debut on April 27 against Houston.

Tim Powers is a contributor to
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