Amarista takes mound in 8th, flashes 'fastball'

Padres shortstop retires Burns, hits homer in loss to A's

Amarista takes mound in 8th, flashes 'fastball'

OAKLAND -- Alexi Amarista, who hasn't pitched since he was 13 years old, was actually hoping for the opportunity to take the mound some day.

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Amarista finally got his chance Wednesday night, in the Padres' 16-2 loss to the A's. San Diego has lost four straight and seven of its last nine.

The A's scored seven runs in the eighth and had runners on first and third when Padres interim manager Pat Murphy brought in shortstop Amarista, who needed just two pitches to get Billy Burns on a fly ball to Matt Kemp in right field.

"That's my fastball," Amarista said of his pitches, which were clocked at under 80 mph. "I always thought I would get the opportunity and now that I did, I'm happy."

It was quite a night for Amarista. He also hit his second home run of the season, the only dent made against A's starter Jesse Chavez, who allowed three hits in his seven innings.

Amarista's solo shot

"I was looking for a certain pitch," Amarista said. "I noticed he was throwing the same kind of pitches and I tried to move a little closer to the plate."

Amarista may be a candidate to play all nine positions during a game. Starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne said he thought Amarista could play anywhere but catcher.

When asked about it, Amarista said "maybe next time."

Murphy said he chose Amarista because he was the "guy lowest to the ground. You have to make your decision somehow. Unfortunately sometimes games like this are going to happen. Maybe this is where it will come together. That's what I'm choosing to believe."

Amarista extended his season-best hitting streak to seven games. Clint Barmes also has a seven-game hitting streak, which remains intact despite his appearance as a defensive replacement in the ninth.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.