After playing as the Tucson Padres' lone representative in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, infielder Dean Anna didn't get long to rest before the grueling final stretch of the season.
In fact, he had less than 24 hours.
Anna jumped right back into the starting lineup for the Padres after flying back from Reno the previous night. He went 0 for 4 in Tucson's 2-0 loss to Colorado Springs on Thursday.
"You just embrace it and go about your business," Anna said about sacrificing rest for the All-Star Game. "You can't be tired in this game; you just have to go about it. Get after it and let the chips (land) where they fall."
With the Padres now one game into a stretch that has them playing 46 games in 47 days, a chance to recharge might have been welcomed. But manager Pat Murphy said that it's just a sacrifice for playing with the best in the league.
"I wish he would have gotten a few more days," Murphy said. "But it's just like what the major-league players have to go through; part of that is you need to learn how to deal with being pretty good."
While Anna was in Reno, the rest of the Padres had a chance to do something almost equally as desirable - live a normal life.
Catcher Chris Robinson flew home to Canada to spend a couple of days with his family in the small town of Dorchester, Ontario. He saw his wife and children, mowed the lawn, took care of his plants. And, most importantly, Robinson relaxed.
"It was nice to just be normal for a couple of days," he said.
Robinson, who played in the Triple-A All-Star Game in 2009, added that despite the lack of rest, no player would trade the chance to be honored as one of the best for a four-day break.
And one of the best was exactly what Anna was through the first 91 games of the season. He hit .334 with a .416 on-base average and a .513 slugging percentage. All three numbers are higher than any total he's had at the end of the season.
He's also helped put the Padres in first place in the Pacific South Division.
For a player who didn't know if he'd make the team when the season started, the All-Star Game appearance validates his ability, Murphy said.
Even with the lack of rest and a forgettable performance in Reno - he went 0 for 2 in a 4-3 Pacific Coast League loss - Anna entered Kino Stadium on Thursday with a memory he'll cherish forever.
"It was just a great experience, I'm never going to forget it," Anna said. "It's always just going to be in my back pocket so I can tell my grandkids the story."
Colorado Springs 2, Tucson 0
• Highlight: Before the game Padres manager Pat Murphy said his team needed to calibrate its focus after the All-Star break and that it might take "a day or two" with their inexperience. Murphy was right on target as the Tucson (53-46) bats remained listless for most of the game and the Sky Sox (52-45) produced just enough off starter Tyson Ross to beat the Padres in the first of a four-game series at Kino Stadium. Colorado Springs' Charlie Culberson opened the game with a double off Ross and scored two batters later to give the Sky Sox a lead they would never surrender. Tucson had runners on the corners in the bottom of the eighth but pinch hitter Mike Wilson flew out to left field to end the threat.
• Big number: 14: The Sky Sox recorded 14 straight outs in between Jaff Decker's single in the third inning and Chris Robinson's single in the eighth. Tucson only had four hits on the night, even with the two in the eighth inning.
• Tonight's starters: RHP Anthony Bass (2-3, 7.75 ERA), Tucson, vs. RHP Chris Volstad (5-2, 4.80 ERA), Colorado Springs.
• What: Colorado Springs at Padres
• When: 7:05 p.m.
• Radio: 1290-AM