SAN DIEGO -- Brad Brach, 26, is quietly emerging as a very reliable middle-relief option. He's striking out more than a batter per inning (39 K's in 33 1/3 innings) and has held opponents scoreless in 24 of 33 outings.
The 6-foot-6 righty is particularly stingy with men on base, having allowed just two of the 25 runners he's inherited to score. That's a miniscule 8 percent of his inherited runners finding their way to the plate -- good for the fourth-best mark in the Majors.
"I try not to think about it. I just want to save the runs for the guys you come in for," Brach said. "You never want to give up another guy's runs -- it's always worse than giving up your own."
And although Brach has done a good job of getting out of jams in his first season of significant big league action, it's a role he's still learning to play.
"In the Minors ... I was always closing. It's a nice role to have, but you're not going to come up here and close right away," he said. "So I'm getting used to coming in with men on base. I know if it's the fifth, sixth, seventh inning and there's guys on, I have a shot to go in. I'm getting used to that."
The product of Monmouth University in New Jersey was drafted in the 42nd round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and is one of a flurry of young relievers who have been getting chances to grow in the bullpen this season. That young cohort, combined with a core group of veterans, has provided Brach with a perfect learning environment.
"It's cool having guys like Huston [Street], and Luke [Gregerson] and Joe [Thatcher] who have been there for a while, and then having guys that are in the same position as you are," he said. "It's a really cool dynamic."
The dynamic seems to be working nicely, as Brach and the other relievers have allowed just three runs over their last 22 1/3 innings of work. They have a 1.21 ERA in that span of seven games and are holding opponents to a .149 batting average. The relief corps also has a 13 2/3-inning scoreless streak, dating back to July 14.
Brach, in particular, has a two-inning scoreless streak and has struck out eight in his last 4 2/3 innings. He pitched in both games of the series against Houston and turned in two perfect innings.
After resting sore knee, Quentin back in action
SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Carlos Quentin was back in left field and the cleanup spot on Wednesday after missing two games with soreness in his left knee.
Quentin has had surgeries on both knees, though the most recent procedure -- the one that forced him to miss the first two months of this season -- was on his right knee, not this week's troublesome left one. According to manager Bud Black, this most recent bout of soreness was the product of tweaking the knee in Sunday's win over the Dodgers.
That said, Black was clear that allowing Quentin ample time to deal with the situation was not because of any particular injury issue but rather to manage the wear and tear of a big league season.
"I think the first day of Spring Training, you feel pretty good. Then after that it sort of slides. ... It's all downhill," Black joked.
"He's doing fine, he's doing good."
Quentin burst out of the gates upon returning from the disabled list on May 28 but has since dropped off his torrid pace. The 29-year-old battled through an 0-for-20 stretch earlier this month but hit a home run and RBI single in Los Angeles before the knee issue arose. He is hitting .266 with eight homers in 124 at-bats.
Maybin late scratch with sore right wrist
SAN DIEGO -- Center fielder Cameron Maybin was a late scratch on Wednesday because of soreness in his right wrist. Jesus Guzman played right field, and Chris Denorfia, originally scheduled to play right, moved to center.
After struggling for much of the first half of the season, Maybin was showing significant signs of life over the past week. He is 7-for-19 in his last five games, including a 3-for-4 showing in Tuesday night's win. The 25-year-old is hitting .221 with four homers in 85 games and is San Diego's leading basestealer, with 17.
According to manager Bud Black, Maybin has been battling some issues with the wrist throughout the season, and felt soreness while taking swings before the game. Black said the Padres will evaluate Maybin on Thursday.
"Cam's been bothered by the wrist. ... We decided to be a little cautious with that. We'll see how it is tomorrow," Black said. "Last couple days, he's feeling it a little bit, little sore, and I just thought, 'Let's get him out of there, get him some more treatment.'"
Black said that X-rays have been taken of the wrist, though nothing appeared that was significant enough to keep Maybin out of the lineup.
"There's some action in there, but he plays with discomfort like a lot of players: You tape it up and you go," Black said. "But today there were a couple of swings that got a little tender, so we made the change."
Padres gain additional Draft pick through lottery
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres gained an additional pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday through baseball's first Competitive Balance Lottery.
The Padres will receive the first pick in Round B, which will be held after the second round. That would likely be the 70th overall pick, or close to it.
The lottery, created under the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, is designed to help teams perceived to need the most assistance by awarding extra Draft picks to some of them.
The 10 smallest-market teams and 10 lowest-revenue teams had an opportunity to win an additional selection.
But there's a twist.
The Padres could trade this pick on or before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. But the pick can only be dealt during the regular season -- this season or next -- and not the offseason.
Catcher Nick Hundley has been placed on Triple-A Tucson's seven-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Hundley was sent to Tucson on June 30 after struggling offensively for the first three months of the season, hitting just .166 in 55 games. He had, however, thrown out the most runners in the Majors (25) at the time of his demotion.
The 29-year-old is hitting .200 with a double, triple and five RBIs in 10 games in Tucson.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.