Padres open 2019 season with win over Giants

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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres opened their 2019 season Thursday with a 2-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants. Opening Day events and pageantry drew large crowds in and around Petco Park long before first pitch around 1 p.m. San Diego’s East Village Association began its free, two-day Opening Day Block Party at 10 a.m., featuring live music, an interactive game zone, a micro-brew beer garden and more than 30 food trucks lining the streets adjacent to Petco Park. The party will resume Friday at noon. The ninth annual block party will take place on J Street between Sixth and 10th avenues. Petco Park gates opened at 10:30 a.m., allowing fans to watch both the Padres and the Giants take batting practice. Pregame ceremonies included a celebration of 2019 being the 50th anniversary of the Padres beginning play in the National League.
Hall of Fame reliever Trevor Hoffman and Randy Jones, who in 1976 became the first Padre to win the Cy Young Award, each threw a ceremonial first pitch. Pregame ceremonies also included the unfurling of the Holiday Bowl Big Flag, held by sailors from numerous units stationed throughout San Diego. The Ceremonial Bell was rung by a season ticket holder from 1969, the Padres first season in the National League. The national anthem was sung by San Diego native Brian Justin Crum, who finished fourth in the 2016 season of “America’s Got Talent.” The anthem also featured a flyover by four F-18 Hornets from the VMFAT-101 Sharp Shooters stationed at MCAS Miramar. Navy Petty Officer First Class Yarrick Sharod Conner performed “God Bless America” before the seventh inning stretch. The Metropolitan Transit System boosted trolley service on the Sycuan Green Line, the UC San Diego Blue Line and the Orange Line to better accommodate Opening Day’s sellout crowd. The signing of third baseman Manny Machado and debut of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. bring optimism for a better season after two last-place finishes in the past three seasons — optimism only buoyed by the Opening Day victory.
Machado is a four-time all-star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner who signed a 10-year, $300 million contract on Feb. 21, the fourth largest deal in American sports history and the largest in team history. Tatis, who turned 20 Jan. 2, was tabbed as baseball’s second-best prospect by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline and third by Baseball Prospectus. His father was a third baseman for five major league teams from 1997-2010.

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