Casey Blake’s latest rehab assignment begins tonight

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Casey Blake’s latest attempt to get over season-long back problems will begin tonight with a rehab assignment at Single-A.

Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports that Blake will start slow, debuting as a designated hitter, which likely means the 38-year-old is at least another week away from potentially coming off the disabled list.

This is Blake’s third stint on the DL this season and in between injuries the impending free agent has hit just .243 with four homers and a .731 OPS in 44 games during the final season of a three-year, $17.5 million deal that came after the Dodgers gave up Carlos Santana to get him from the Indians in mid-2008.

If he gets healthy and puts together a productive couple weeks in August perhaps they can get a low-level prospect for him prior to the secondary August 31 trade deadline, but probably not.

Padres ride double-decker tour bus to AT&T Park

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On Sunday morning, the Padres planned to take a bus from their hotel in San Francisco to AT&T Park ahead of their afternoon game. The bus never showed. MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell reports that team director of player and staff services TJ Lasita flagged down an empty San Francisco tour bus, negotiated a rate, and got his players an impromptu ride to the ballpark.

The Padres’ Twitter account and Annie Heilbrunn of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweeted pictures and video:

The Padres and Giants are playing the rubber match of their three-game series this afternoon. The Padres will then travel to Arlington for a series with the Rangers. The Giants will welcome the Rockies.