Cashner exits after throwing only six pitches

Padres starter experiences upper back and neck tightness

Cashner exits after throwing only six pitches

DENVER -- Padres starter Andrew Cashnerleft the series opener with the Rockies after throwing six pitches Friday night at Coors Field, and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday morning. Cashner was experiencing upper back and neck stiffness, and manager Andy Green didn't wait to take the ball from him.

The Padres won, 7-5, after Wil Myers hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning.

"When Cash came in from the bullpen, [pitching coach] Darren [Balsley] told me, 'Heads up, he's tight in his neck and his back,'" Green said. "'Didn't look like himself the last couple pitches in the 'pen.'"

Cashner struck out leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon on five pitches then threw a ball to DJ LeMahieu. Green didn't like what he saw and took head athletic trainer Mark Rogow out to the mound, bringing Cashner back to the dugout with them.

"I was just watching his stuff," Green said, noting that Cashman didn't signal to the manager that anything was wrong. "He was guarded out there. He wasn't finishing. He wasn't his typical self. Darren and I were talking every pitch. Probably should have got him right after he struck out Blackmon. We thought, 'Maybe one more pitch he loosens up,' but when it came out the same way and he had the same mechanics, we said, 'Let's go get him.'"

Cashner is 3-5 with a 4.75 ERA. He faced the Rockies on June 4 in San Diego, allowing three runs over 5 2/3 innings in the 4-3 Padres win.

"Where he's hurting are good places to be hurting, from a baseball perspective," Green said. "It's not in the shoulder. Not in the elbow.

"I'm not sure what this means going forward. Just for now he's got some tightness. We'll see how he wakes up tomorrow and figure out what we need to do."

Reliever Luis Perdomo came in and pitched 5 2/3 innings of relief -- the longest stint in the Majors this year -- keeping the Padres within striking distance for their four-run, ninth-inning comeback. He gave up an infield single and a two-run homer to Nolan Arenado before settling in and saving the bullpen.

Perdomo made a spot start Sunday -- also against the Rockies -- after scheduled starter James Shields was traded to the White Sox.

"I'm proud of the kid," Green said. "He got thrown into the fire again. It was his best poise, it was his best effort. It was huge for us to get 100 pitches out of him and kind of preserve most of the guys in the bullpen. That way we could kind of match it up for the rest of the game."

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver. He covered the Padres on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.