Astros send Lane to Padres
Lane was expected to join the club Tuesday, when San Diego also planned to bring up Drew Macias and switch-hitting Chase Headley from Double-A San Antonio.
"I was very excited any time another team wants you especially in a situation where I wasn't playing here and wasn't really probably going to get into any games the last week to go try to help a team that's right in the middle of the playoff race," Lane told Houston television station KRIV. "A situation I'm familiar with playing with the Astros the last couple of years."
He was batting .178 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs for the Astros this season. He had 61 homers and 189 RBIs in 494 major league games from 2002-07.
"I called a few other clubs and there were only a few guys they had trade waivers on," general manager Kevin Towers said. "He can play center field. He has power. He has played in the postseason."
The Padres, in the middle of a tight pennant race, lost two starting outfielders to injuries Sunday: left fielder Milton Bradley and center fielder Mike Cameron.
Lane can help fill in during the final week of the season, but wouldn't be eligible to play for the Padres if they reach the playoffs because they acquired him after the Aug. 31 deadline.
"Anything you can do to help at this point and to get kind of a fresh start somewhere is really exciting for me," Lane said.
The Padres control the rights to Lane for 2008, which Towers found to be a positive considering Bradley and Cameron can become free agents.
"He's another guy to put in the mix," Towers said.
Bradley will miss the rest of the year after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he was spun to the ground by his own manager during a blowup with an umpire.
Cameron tore a ligament in his right thumb when Bradley stepped on his hand as they pursued an inside-the-park home run by Colorado's Garrett Atkins. San Diego manager Bud Black said before Monday night's game at San Francisco that Cameron might be able to pinch-run this week, but that would be it.
The Padres, trying to make the playoffs for the third straight year, entered Monday night with a half-game lead over Philadelphia in the wild-card race. San Diego was 2½ games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West with seven to play.
Bradley was ejected from Sunday's game by first base umpire Mike Winters, then hurt his knee during a bizarre scene when Black spun him to the ground to keep him from going after the ump in the eighth inning of a 7-3 loss to the Rockies.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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