SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Taylor Rogers struggled to find the right words through all his emotions after he and twin brother Tyler pitched in the same major league game wearing opposing uniforms, each part of the boxscore for a moment they had envisioned for so long.
Taylor pitched the ninth inning to earn his third save in San Diego’s 4-2 victory against losing pitcher Tyler Rogers (0-1) and the San Francisco Giants on Monday night. They even stood in for their managers exchanging the lineup cards, startling the umpire crew before posing for a photo with them.
“I don’t know if I even have the words yet,” said Taylor Rogers, acquired by the Padres from Minnesota last Thursday ahead of opening day. “Really, really cool. I want to thank Bob Melvin and Gabe Kapler for letting us do the lineup cards. That was a special moment and got some good pictures from that, too. I’m so blessed. I can’t believe it’s happening.”
Tyler immediately left the ballpark and the state to go welcome his first child, a boy.
“Next week’s going to feel dull,” joked Taylor, greeted by the game ball already authenticated and in his locker.
Photos showed similar mannerisms, to which Taylor said “that’s how twins work.”
The brothers chatted behind the batting cage before the game, then later exchanged the lineup cards at home plate and posed for a photo with the umpire crew. They didn’t know that was part of the plan.
“Probably if you put them in the same uniform you couldn’t tell them apart,” said Melvin, the Padres’ manager. “I know it’s a special day for both of them being able to be on the field together. There’s twins and then there’s twins, and that is a difficult one to tell apart.”
Hours later, Taylor Rogers was summoned to close out the game and hang his brother with a loss.
“I thought about that as I was running out to the mound — this is putting me in a weird spot here,” he said. “It’s OK, because the relationship that we have, it’s not … I’m not going to go over to him and say, ‘Ha, ha.’ I’m going to go over to him and say, ‘Dude, how freakin’ cool was that?’”
Manny Machado’s RBI groundout in the seventh inning put San Diego ahead, and Austin Nola hit his first home run of the season for the Padres.
Jake Cronenworth’s RBI single in the ninth provided insurance.
Pierce Johnson loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth on a walk to Steven Duggar, but Mauricio Dubon struck out swinging.
Nola connected in the fifth only for the Giants to tie it in the sixth on a two-out wild pitch by winner Steven Wilson (2-0).
San Diego right-hander Nick Martínez made his first major league start since 2017 for Texas after spending three of the past four years playing in Japan. He allowed one run on five hits, struck out six and walked one over five innings.
Giants starter Alex Wood struck out six over 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits in his first 2022 start.
Kapler received his 2021 NL Manager of the Year award during a pregame ceremony. He was thrilled for the Rogers brothers, too.
“We can shine the light on a special day for their family,” the Giants’ skipper said.
FAMILIAR FLAPPIN’ FLAGS
Melvin, the former A’s manager who caught for the Giants after growing up in the Bay Area, compared the blustery night to his days going to games at Candlestick Park.
“It’s always special when you get to come home,” Melvin said. “The rivalry between the Giants, this ballpark’s fantastic, you’re always going to get big crowds here. It’s a really good team. You have to play your best to win here.”
Padres: LHP Blake Snell, scratched from his start Sunday with tightness in his left upper leg, will wait until Tuesday to throw and then the Padres will determine whether he might need a stint on the 10-day injured list. “He’s walking around OK,” Melvin said, not ready to guess on Snell’s status. “I want to leave it open. I’m a little skeptical based on the fact that he had to be scratched yesterday, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself and I want him to have some input.”
Giants: 3B Wilmer Flores is dealing with a personal matter that is keeping him out of the lineup. “He’s also going through a difficult time off the field and we’re respecting that,” Kapler said, noting the Giants are treating it as they would an injured player by giving Flores the time he needs. “Wilmer and I have had consistent communication and conversations about his personal circumstance over the last couple days since the season began. When we collectively believe he is prepared and strong enough emotionally to be on the field we’re going to have him be on the field. And when we don’t, just like a player who’s dealing with something physical, it’s the same thing. These things are equally challenging when they’re emotional or mental as when they are physical.” … OF LaMonte Wade Jr., on the injured list with left knee inflammation, will soon begin a running progression.
Padres: RHP Yu Darvish (0-0, 0.00 ERA) looks 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.
Giants: RHP Alex Cobb makes his Giants debut after signing a $20 million, two-year contract ahead of the lockout.