Amarista returns to Friars from jammed thumb

Amarista returns to Friars from jammed thumb

Amarista returns to Friars from jammed thumb
MIAMI -- Alexi Amarista was given the thumbs up to return to the Padres' lineup Saturday.

Amarista, who has been hindered by a jammed left thumb he suffered Monday against the Giants, had been nursing the injury the last three days, but was back in the starting lineup for the second of three games against the Marlins on Saturday.

"Thankfully I feel good now," Amarista said. "It's good to be back in the lineup. Hopefully it goes well. You never know, but I feel like I am 100 percent ready to play."

Padres manager Bud Black said Amarista was available off the bench in "all capacities" Friday, but the utility man didn't see the field in San Diego's 7-2 series-opening win.

Amarista was hitting leadoff and playing second base Saturday. It was the ninth time he hit at the top of the order this season, and it marked his 26th start at second. Overall, Saturday marked Amarista's 39th start this year since the team recalled him from Triple-A Tucson on May 17, two weeks after acquiring him from the Angels in a trade.

Amarista has made the most of his opportunity with the Padres. He has hit safely in 19 of his last 22 games. In his last 34 games before jamming his thumb, dating back to June 13, he is hitting .350 (36-for-103) with 13 extra-base hits and 18 RBIs.

"I am very thankful our manager has given me the opportunity to play every day," Amarista said. "I think I needed that consistent playing time to show that I could be playing here in the big leagues. Everything has gone the way I had hoped."