SAN DIEGO -- The strained right hamstring that caused Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera to miss 15 games earlier this season is still giving him fits.
But, according to Padres manager Bud Black, it's a different area of the hamstring that's giving him fits this time.
"The first hamstring injury was up a little higher," Black said Thursday. "According to [head trainer Todd Hutcheson] it loosened up a little yesterday. We're being cautious. We hope it's not a DL situation."
Cabrera was out of the lineup on Thursday for the third consecutive day with Jerry Hairston Jr. -- who has hit home runs in each of the past two games -- starting for him.
"He's feeling better but is still sore," Black said. "We're still hopeful this resolves itself in the next day or so."
Cabrera was originally placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 30 with the injury to his hamstring (retroactive to April 27). He was activated on May 14.
Padres' Bell longs for adventure-free save
SAN DIEGO -- At this point, Padres closer Heath Bell would give about anything to work a drama-free, 1-2-3 scoreless ninth inning.
So far this season, it's only happened twice in Bell's 21 appearances.
On Wednesday, he suffered his third blown save of 2010 as St. Louis tied the game in the ninth inning. The Padres went on to win the game, 2-1, in 13 innings.
Of his 13 saves, none has come when Bell has worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning. It's been enough to drive him a little crazy.
"Can I go 1-2-3? I get the job done, but I think I must be a drama queen," Bell said. "I'm going to make them work as hard as I can. They're going to make me work as hard as I can. These guys have my number. These guys know how to hit."
Sure enough, Bell is 0-2 with three blown saves in his career against the Cardinals with a 9.64 ERA.
Last season, Bell had 17 1-2-3 innings with saves in 14 of those games.
Bell was charged with an earned run on Wednesday, though if rookie center fielder Luis Durango had kept a ball hit by Skip Schumaker in front of him and allowed a single and not a double, the results might have been different.
In a blown save against the Astros on May 9, Bell was dinged for an unearned as an error by shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr. led to the winning run.
Hairston learning ins, outs of PETCO
SAN DIEGO -- It's been well-documented that PETCO Park can provide plenty of challenges for hitters, but it seems that first-year Padres infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. is starting to get the handle on how to attack the notoriously pitcher-friendly ballpark.
Hairston's first two home runs of the season in back-to-back games against the Cardinals both turned out to be game-winners for San Diego, but both solo shots were pulled into the left-field bleachers, which Hairston said hasn't been his typical approach to hitting.
"The last couple years, I've really prided myself on going the other way, driving the ball, and it's killed me here," Hairston said. "It breaks your heart when you're out. You try to stay with your game plan and you just try to hit the ball hard, and sometimes you catch it."
Going into Thursday's series finale, Hairston is 3-for-8 with two of the four total RBIs between the teams in addition to scoring two of the Padres' three runs. His walk-off homer on Wednesday night ended a 13-inning contest.
"It's so hard to hit a home run here, especially at night," Hairston said. "I knew I hit it well, but this ballpark sometimes holds these balls. I know I've hit a couple I thought were gone, but they were caught earlier this year, so I'm glad it went over."
Of course, Hairston's brother and Padres outfielder Scott Hairston is also plenty familiar with hitting at PETCO Park and is a rare player who has found a good amount of offensive success.
Scott Hairston, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, has a career batting average of .285 at PETCO Park, which is a big reason why he was brought back to San Diego in January as part of the trade that sent Kevin Kouzmanoff to Oakland after Hairston was dealt to the A's in 2009.
Scott Hairston said he has shared advice with his brother on how to approach PETCO Park and that he was happy to see his brother get the two biggest hits so far in the series with St. Louis.
"Balls that you hit high up in the air tend to get knocked down, so I told him, 'Just concentrate on hitting line drives and you'll do well,'" Scott Hairston said. "It's sort of an adjustment that you have to make as a player when you come over here. I'm just happy [Jerry's] starting to feel more comfortable. His swing is getting a lot better and he's starting to hit the ball."
Heads-up double play helps Padres
SAN DIEGO -- The double play is known as a pitcher's best friend and Padres reliever Ryan Webb was able to escape trouble in the 11th inning of a game Wednesday night against the Cardinals with the help of a very unconventional play that quickly erased two runners.
With Colby Rasmus on third base and Yadier Molina on first with no outs, Skip Schumaker hit a grounder to second base. David Eckstein immediately fired the ball to catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who tagged Rasmus out while he was trying to go back to third base. Torrealba then tossed the ball to shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr., who tagged Molina out while trying to advance to third.
"I knew if I threw a sinker, the way our guys are playing defense, we could have a play at home," Webb said. "That was just a great defensive play right there. Unbelievable. I'm speechless. That was awesome."
That wacky play essentially squashed any chances of a St. Louis scoring threat for the remainder of the game, as Ryan Ludwick flied out to center to end the 11th and then Padres reliever Edward Mujica came on and threw two perfect innings in the 12th and 13th.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Gina Mizell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.