SD@BAL: Quentin's solo shot puts Padres up early

SAN DIEGO -- Reliever Brad Brach, who had the second-lowest inherited runners scored percentage, was optioned to Triple-A Tucson before Saturday's game against the Nationals.

The Padres needed a roster spot with outfielder Carlos Quentin coming back from paternity leave where he missed two games after his wife, Jeane, gave birth to the couple's first son, Clark, on Thursday. Quentin, who wasn't in the starting lineup Saturday, missed two games.

After a good rookie season, Brach got off to a rough start, allowing a grand slam on Opening Day against the Mets, and posting a 4.76 ERA in 17 innings over 19 games. Opponents are hitting .348 against him.

"Overall, I haven't been pitching to the best of my ability," Brach said. "With teams that are trying to go to the playoffs, you have to be at the top of your game, and I'm not. So I'm going to go and make a few adjustments and hopefully I'll be back soon.

"It's just not throwing enough strikes, trying to pick too much. Instead of being aggressive like I have normally been the last few years, I got behind in the count on too many hitters. I got behind the eight ball from day one."

Last season, Brach allowed 10.9 percent of inherited runners to score. This season, that number rose to 37.5 percent.

San Diego manager Bud Black said Brach will be back in the big leagues.

"With Brad, I think we saw the league make adjustments to him and he's got to readjust back," Black said. "He's got to get back to getting the fastball in good spots because the secondary pitches are fine, but like most pitchers, it's all about good spots with the fastball.

"Just knowing Brad as I do and we do as a staff and teammates, he's not scared off at all. I'm a Brad Brach guy."

Brach is expected to meet Tucson on the road during a series next week in Omaha.

Luebke's throwing program stopped after discomfort

PHI@SD: Luebke hurls eight scoreless innings in win

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Cory Luebke's recovery from reconstructive elbow surgery a year ago has hit another speed bump.

Luebke's throwing program was stopped last week for the second time this calendar year after he felt some discomfort in his left elbow after a throwing session.

"We're going to let it quiet down," Luebke said.

On Wednesday, Luebke had a platelet-rich plasma injection (PRP). PRP treatment involves extracting blood from the patient, spinning it in a centrifuge to isolate certain platelets in the blood. The blood is then injected back into the body with the hope that those platelets can aid in the healing process.

Earlier this year, Luebke's throwing program was shut down for six weeks after he experienced soreness.

Luebke had reached the point last week where he was able to play catch off a mound. But now, he is uncertain when he'll be able to start throwing again.

"This is not an exact science of how a guy comes back from a major surgery," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Not all of them meet specific timelines. Cory is on the longer end of a projected return.

"But I feel bad for Cory. He wants to play."

Luebke has maintained throughout his rehabilitation that he intends to pitch again this season. He has not appeared in a game since April 27 of last season. He's 10-12 with a 3.25 ERA in 55 games over the last three seasons for the Padres, including 25 starts.

Luebke signed a contract extension during Spring Training of 2012 that guaranteed him $12 million with the potential of earning him $27.75 million and keeping him in San Diego through the 2017 season.

Worth noting

• Catcher Yasmani Grandal, who was suspended the first 50 games of the season for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone, played in the first of what's expected to be 10 Minor League games with the Triple-A Tucson Padres.

In a game in Des Moines, he caught nine innings and was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI in Tucson's 4-2 victory over Iowa. Grandal won't play Sunday, but will resume his stint with Tucson on Monday. He's eligible to rejoin the Padres on May 28 when the team is in Seattle.