The San Diego Padres lost again on Monday to the Texas Rangers in Surprise, Az. Brian Sweeney allowed two runs in the first inning before the Padres tied it up in the top half of the second. In the third, the Rangers went ahead to stay. A Lance Nix double brought home the go ahead run and the Padres offense remained anemic the rest of the way.
Monday was the first of three games between the two teams. The teams will meet again March 23rd in Peoria and March 29th in Sunrise. The Padres split the series last spring with the Rangers and the series was tied at 8-8 entering the game.
Rey Ordonez was the only Padre with two hits and he drove in a run. Miguel Ojeda netted the other RBI on a double in the second inning. Eugene Kingsale, Jeff Cirillo and Jose Nieves were the only other Friars to record a hit. Kingsale and Tom Wilson added stolen bases.
Brian Sweeney allowed two runs over two innings on four hits. Chris Oxspring followed and took the loss. He allowed one run and two hits over two innings, walking three and striking out three. Oxspring also threw two wild pitches. Matt Bruback pitched two scoreless innings before Scott Linebrink came in to pitch the seventh. Linebrink allowed one run on three hits in his inning of work. Akinori Otsuka closed the pitching out with one inning of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out two.
Nieves was playing in his first game since being signed. It is widely believed that he will play shortstop for the Beavers this season. That could mean Ramon Vasquez is in line to be dealt.
Kelly McCord has been hired as the Padres' full-time massage therapist. One of the few women working full-time in a major league clubhouse, McCord, a former basketball and volleyball player at Ohio's Lake Erie College, was a part-time aide in 2003. "It gets a little hard not having as much girl talk," said McCord. "Other than that, it's easier working with the men."
Brian Lawrence will be the first Padre to make consecutive Opening Day starts since Andy Benes started three straight openers (1993-95). Randy Jones (1975-77 and 1980) and Eric Show (1984, 1986-87, 1989) hold the team record with four Opening Day assignments apiece.
Former Padres president and CEO Larry Lucchino, who was a key figure in the development of Petco Park, will throw out the first pitch ever at the new ballpark. He will do the honors prior to Thursday's 7 p.m. San Diego State-Houston game.Padres chairman John Moores invited Lucchino, now president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, to toss the ceremonial pitch during the stadium's inaugural event, the Aztec Invitational.