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Padres call up Blaine Neal


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NEW YORK -- The Padres optioned right-handed reliever Brandon Puffer to Portland on Friday and called up pitcher Blaine Neal from Triple-A.


Neal was acquired from the Marlins on April 3 in exchange for right-hander Ben Howard and went 4-2 with a 1.86 ERA for the Beavers in 27 relief appearances


The right-hander made it to Yankee Stadium in time for the game, arriving while the Padres were taking batting practice. Manager Bruce Bochy said Neal will assume Puffer's role, handling long and middle relief chores.


"He's been throwing well down there," Bochy said of Neal. "He's got a power type arm, 92-94 and his command has been good. We need to cover ourselves with another arm here over these next few days."


Puffer was called up May 12 and went 0-1 with a 5.06 in 12 relief appearances for the Padres.


Good for him.

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