Notes: Antonelli shines a day early

Notes: Antonelli shines a day early

YUMA, Ariz. -- The Stars of the Future game will take place Sunday at Desert Sun Stadium in Yuma, and that was the game in which 2006 first-round draft pick Matt Antonelli was supposed to shine.

"I think tomorrow I'll get a little more playing time than a pinch-hit role," Antonelli said with a smile.

The 17th overall pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft played the pinch-hit role well, and turned out to be the star of the split-squad game between the Friars and Diamondbacks in Yuma, belting a three-run homer to left field to put the Padres ahead 7-5. The Padres needed every bit of Antonelli's homer with two on and two out in the bottom of the sixth, squeezing by Arizona 7-6.

"I was happy to see that for Matt," Padres manger Bud Black said. "We think a lot of Matt for the future. It can build confidence for a young man. It's got to be a great boost."

Antonelli, who will turn 22 on April 8, said he expects to be in either Class A Fort Wayne or Class A Lake Elsinore to start the season. The infielder saw action Class A Eugene. He finished his first season of professional baseball with a .273 average and 22 RBIs, smacking 13 doubles and two triples.

"It's cool to come up here and play with these guys," said Antonelli, who sat in the same dugout with Marcus Giles, Adrian Gonzalez and Khalil Greene for Saturday's contest. "It's nice to get out here and see what's it's like."

Peavy outing: Black was in Yuma while pitcher Jake Peavy was throwing 101 pitches (61 of them strikes) over 5 2/3 innings of work in Maryvale against the Brewers, but the Friars' skipper was happy to hear about it.

"I'm glad he threw 101 pitches. That puts him on pace for his first start [of the regular season]," he said.

Sledge digs the long ball: Entering Saturday, Terrmel Sledge was in a six-way tie for the most Spring Training homers in the National League.

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He added one more in Saturday's game in Yuma, leading off the sixth inning with a homer. His blast jump-started the offense, leading to seven runs in that inning.

Minor Leagues take their turn: On Sunday, some Padres Minor Leaguers will get the chance to play at Desert Sun Stadium, facing off against Diamondbacks Minor Leaguers in the Stars of the Future game.

Along with the aforementioned Antonelli, making the trip to Yuma for Sunday's game are Will Venable, Chase Headley, and Juan Ciraco, among others. All four saw some playing time in Saturday's split-squad game against the Diamondbacks. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. PT.

Up next: The Padres' full squad will be together for Sunday, playing host to San Francisco at 1:05 p.m. PT. Right-hander Jack Cassel will get the start for the Padres, and he will face right hander and non-roster invitee Scott Atchison.

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