Giants’ Nakken 1st MLB female coach on field, SF tops Padres

AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn
San Francisco Giants first base coach Alyssa Nakken runs to get in position, near San Diego Padres catcher Austin Nola, left, during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

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 entered in the third when 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.

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.”

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.

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 Steven 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’s chance

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.