SAN DIEGO -- No one likes getting sent back to the Minor Leagues, but when Padres infielder Lance Zawadzki was informed Friday he was heading back to Triple-A Portland, he said he was actually looking forward to it.

"I know what I need to do at that level," said Zawadzki, who was sent to Portland when shortstop Everth Cabrera was reinstated from the disabled list before Friday's game with the Dodgers at PETCO Park.

Zawadzki hit .182 with two hits in six games. He scored the lone run in the Padres' victory over the Giants on Thursday, reaching base on a double before Mat Latos' RBI single.

Zawadzki made three starts and noted the three starting pitchers that he faced -- Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies), Roy Oswalt (Astros) and Jonathan Sanchez (Giants) -- weren't too shabby.

"I saw the best of the best," Zawadzki said. "It's a lot different went you see them on TV or in a video game."

Zawadzki said his experience with the Padres "was awesome. We were winning the whole time, and it was cool to contribute."

Zawadzki will report to Nashville, where Portland is playing a series. He was hitting .162 with the Beavers at the time he was promoted. He's looking forward to going back to that level, where he'll, more often than not, be playing every day.

"From a personal standpoint, the big leagues always looked so far away," he said. "... To feel like you belong was great. I saw what it takes to maintain a winning environment."

San Diego manager Bud Black was first impressed with Zawadzki in Spring Training and he was a natural to recall from Portland when Cabrera went on the 15-day disabled list on April 30 with a strained right hamstring.

"He did a nice job," Black said. "He's making progress, getting closer here. He showed well. The challenge is to go back [to Triple-A] and play like he did in Spring Training."

Cabrera returns to Padres' lineup

SAN DIEGO -- Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, who hadn't played in a game since April 26 because of a strained right hamstring, was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Friday and was in the starting lineup against the Dodgers.

Cabrera was placed on the DL on April 30 (retroactive to April 27), when the pain in his hamstring became too much for him to play with.

Cabrera said he injured the hamstring coming in for a ground ball hit by Giants pitcher Matt Cain in a game at PETCO Park on April 19. He continued to play on it for several more days because, as he said, "I don't want to be on the DL."

In the six games following the injury on April 19, Cabrera went 2-for-16 at the plate. The Padres finally decided he needed to sit for recover for a period of time.

"I played like at 50 percent," Cabrera said.

Cabrera played in games with Class A Lake Elsinore on Monday, Tuesday and again on Thursday, when he had two hits. He was 3-for-10 playing for the Storm.

"He had a good week at Elsinore," Black said, noting that the reports from the staff there were positive. "His leg is good. He's got the green light."

Cabrera missed 15 games with the injury. Jerry Hairston Jr. got 13 starts at shortstop in his absence and rookie Lance Zawadzki -- who was sent back to Triple-A Portland on Friday -- made two starts.

Latos joins rare company

SAN DIEGO -- A day after tossing his first career shutout, Padres pitcher Mat Latos was a popular target of reporters and television cameras at PETCO Park.

The 22-year-old, apparently, was also a popular stop for statisticians. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Latos became only the third player in baseball's "modern era" to pitch at least eight innings while allowing no more than two hits and giving up no runs and no walks in two consecutive starts.

The other pitchers to accomplish that feat were Cy Young (1905) and Billy Pierce (1958).

Latos took a perfect game into the sixth inning on Thursday against the Giants, a 1-0 victory, before allowing an infield single to Eli Whiteside.

In his previous start in Houston, Latos tossed eight scoreless innings in a 7-0 victory.

"He's maturing mentally and physically, and he's learning how to make pitches when he needs to," Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley said. "I think his preparation has gotten better. He's learning. I think early in the season, he got his tail kicked a few times. He's learned from that."