Two rookie right-handers who faced the Houston Astros on consecutive days in the past week go head-to-head Saturday afternoon when the San Diego Padres and host Oakland Athletics continue the Bob Melvin reunion series.
With Melvin watching from the first base dugout in Oakland for the first time since May 2009, the Padres (78-70) delivered an 8-3 win in the opener of the three-game series on Friday.
The outcome not only pleased a grateful Melvin, who guided the A’s from 2011-21, but didn’t seem to overly bother the few holdovers from his Oakland tenure.
“He’s a guy you want in your corner, and he’ll always be one of my all-time favorite managers,” A’s veteran Tony Kemp said on a night when he shared the spotlight — at least in part — with Melvin as he was named Oakland’s winner of the Roberto Clemente Award. “He was never in the clubhouse unless there was a team meeting. He let this place be the players’ locker room, and that’s a big deal.”
Melvin was back at the site of six A’s trips to the postseason in his 11 seasons. He likely will be 1-for-2 in San Diego, as his club barely has a pulse in the NL wild-card race — 6 1/2 games behind with 14 games to play, and needing to vault four teams in the process.
For three days, he gets to bask in the memories of October baseball and the distinction of being Oakland’s all-time-winningest manager.
“I loved it,” said Melvin, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area town of Atherton and attended the University of California. “Just coming back into a place that I’ve been as early as 12 years old. … This property has been very important in my lifetime.”
Padres starter Matt Waldron (0-3, 5.55 ERA) hopes to get the type of support on Saturday that Seth Lugo received in the Friday opener. He will be making his fourth major league start and has appeared in a total of just five games, none against the A’s (46-101).
Waldron, 26, has allowed at least one home run in all five of his previous appearances, including when he took the loss in a 12-2 thumping at Houston on Sunday. He was charged with four runs in five innings.
Waldron will face an A’s team that used milestone long balls by Shea Langeliers (No. 20) and Brent Rooker (No. 25) to account for two of their three runs on Friday. The Padres countered with two long balls of their own, a first-inning blast by Fernando Tatis Jr. and a three-run shot by Jose Azocar in the ninth, the first of his two-year career.
Next, the Padres will attempt to turn their power play on Mason Miller (0-2, 2.84 ERA), who will be making his sixth big-league start in his seventh appearance overall. He has never pitched against San Diego.
The 25-year-old has allowed just one home run in 25 1/3 innings, none when he served as an opener in a 4-0 win at Houston on Monday. He allowed the Astros just one hit in two innings.
–Field Level Media
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