Giants’ Nakken 1st MLB female coach on field, SF tops Padres
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Alyssa Nakken made major league history as the first female coach on the field in a regular-season game, and the Giants pounded the San Diego Padres 13-2 on Tuesday night.
The 31-year-old Nakken took over at first base in the third inning after Antoan Richardson got ejected. When she was announced as Richardson’s replacement, Nakken was greeted with a warm ovation from the crowd at Oracle Park. She also received a congratulatory handshake from Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer.
“I think we’re all inspirations doing everything that we do on a day-to-day basis and I think, yes, this carries a little bit more weight because of the visibility, obviously there’s a historical nature to it,” Nakken said. “But again, this is my job.”
San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said Nakken had “prepared for this moment” while working with Richardson and others.
“So it’s not a foreign spot on the field for her. She does so many other things well that aren’t seen,” he said. “So it’s nice to see her kind of be right there in the spotlight and do it on the field.”
Nakken is an assistant coach who works heavily with baserunning and outfield defense. She watches games from an indoor batting cage near the steps to the dugout.
Richardson said his ejection stemmed from an incident that began when Padres third base coach Mike Shildt, the former St. Louis Cardinals manager, approached the Giants dugout.
Richardson said he asked Shildt what he needed. The San Francisco coach said Shildt used an expletive and told Kapler to “control” Richardson.
“At that point in time I went up to the top step and said, ‘Excuse me,’ because I couldn’t believe what I heard” and got ejected, Richardson said.
Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer highlighting a six-run first inning off Yu Darvish, and it was 10-1 in the second. That was plenty for Alex Cobb (1-0), who struck out 10 to win his San Francisco debut.
Joc Pederson homered for the first time since joining the Giants with an eighth-inning drive.
Wilmer Flores, held out Monday for personal reasons, returned to start at third base for the Giants and his RBI single in the second chased Darvish (0-1). Flores also homered in the eighth.
Afterward, Kapler defended Steven Duggar’s steal in the second with his team up 10-1 and Mauricio Dubon’s bunt in the sixth as the Giants led 11-2.
“I can’t think of a reason why it doesn’t make sense to continue to try to compete all the way through the game,” Kapler said.
Pederson and Flores both connected after Padres outfielder Wil Myers moved to the mound to pitch.
Cobb who signed a $20 million, two-year contract ahead of the lockout, gave up two runs on four hits and walked two over five innings.
After Belt connected for his second homer of the year — he hit a career-best 29 last season — Thairo Estrada added a two-run single, Joey Bart singled home a run and Duggar added a sacrifice fly in the big inning.
Darvish was tagged for nine runs on eight hits over 1 2/3 innings with two strikeouts and two walks. He had been looking to build on his season-opening outing last week at Arizona, where he had a no-hitter in progress but was pulled following the sixth inning after throwing 92 pitches.
Yunior Marte made his major league debut pitching the ninth for San Francisco.
Nakken, her blonde braid hanging out of her protective orange helmet, had previously coached first in spring training and during a July 2020 exhibition game at Oakland against now-Padres manager Bob Melvin when he was with the Athletics. She then started the game at first the next night back in San Francisco.
The former Sacramento State softball star became the first female coach in the big leagues when she was hired for Kapler’s staff in January 2020. She has worked heavily on baserunning and outfield defense.
Padres: LHP Blake Snell, scratched from his start Sunday with tightness in his left upper leg, played catch but wasn’t able to throw off the mound. He is likely headed to the injured list Wednesday. ... San Diego claimed RHP Kyle Tyler off waivers from the Angels and designated RHP Javy Guerra for assignment.
Giants: RHP Tyler Rogers went on the paternity list a day after taking the loss on a night his twin brother, Taylor, earned the save for San Diego. Tyler Rogers left immediately after his outing to go welcome his first child, a boy to be named Jack. The brothers became the fifth set of twins to play in the same game. ... RHP Yunior Marte was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento.
LHP Sean Manaea (1-0, 0.00 ERA), who pitched seven no-hit innings in his Padres debut Friday at Arizona, starts Wednesday afternoon’s series finale opposite Giants right-hander Logan Webb (0-0, 1.50).
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