PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -Sean Gallagher has no physical limitations for the first time in a year, and he is ready to compete for a spot in San Diego's rotation.
Gallagher threw two hitless innings after missing three months last season with a knee injury and the Padres beat the Seattle Mariners 9-3 Friday.
``Last year was a tough year for me in general,' Gallagher said. ``First outing in spring last year went all right. I didn't feel like I was supposed to, like I did today. That just kind of carried over into the whole year. This year I feel amazing. No pain, nothing in the knee or shoulder.'
Gallagher walked one.
Clayton Richard is in the lead for the fourth spot in the Padres' rotation while five pitchers, including Friday's winner Mat Latos, are fighting for the last slot.
Latos allowed a run on a walk and a hit while Wade LeBlanc, who is also looking for a starting job, allowed one earned run on four hits.
``It will be a good competition and these guys sense it,' Black said.
Gallagher figures to be a big part of that competition. The right-hander went to spring training with the Oakland A's in 2009 and was thought to be a favorite to make the team's starting rotation but put up disappointing numbers and began the season at Triple-A Sacramento.
In June, Gallagher strained his left knee and opted for rehab over surgery. He was sent to the Padres to complete the July 5 trade that sent Scott Hairston to Oakland and was a September call up with San Diego.
He made eight appearances in relief and then further tested his knee in six starts in the Venezuelan winter league.
``The knee is good,' Gallagher said. ``I'm happy to be healthy and happy to be going at it again. I had a little more adrenaline the first time out but you kind of expect it.'
Luke French, one of four pitchers fighting for the fifth spot in Seattle's rotation, pitched two scoreless innings. Garrett Olson, another pitcher vying for the Mariners' rotation, allowed six runs and got just two outs.
Padres third baseman Chase Headley had a two-run single in four at_bats while Aaron Cunningham had a three-run double and a stolen base.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved