Interim skipper earns victory in third game as manager, praises team
By Alex Espinoza
Special to MLB.com |
OAKLAND -- As Pat Murphy addressed the media from his office following the Padres' 3-1 win over the A's, he was soaked from head to toe in beer, and the left side of his body was sprinkled in baby powder. But it's a price he'd gladly pay for picking up his first win as an MLB manager.
San Diego's interim skipper was quick to deflect the praise to his players before reflecting on his first big league victory.
"It resonated with me when they brought me in the shower and dumped whatever they dumped on me," Murphy said. "I thought I was having a heart attack, I'm not joking. The thought went through my head, 'Isn't this beautiful? You get your first Major League win, and you have a heart attack in the shower during the celebration.' That's truly what I was thinking."
But Murphy survived and picked up his first win in three tries with the Padres, who dismissed Bud Black on Monday and were in the midst of a four-game losing streak.
Ian Kennedy finished six strong innings, allowing an earned run on four hits and a walk while striking out four. His only blemish came in the sixth, when Josh Phegley led off the frame with a solo shot to left. Kennedy, who pitched at USC while Murphy coached at Arizona State a few years ago, said he enjoyed helping his new skipper reach the milestone.
"I was glad to be the guy," Kennedy said. "I've faced him so many times in college, at least I was that guy to be on the mound that day. Partly wanted to pitch well for him, and partially for the team, too. Lost the last four games, and we needed that one."
The win came on a day when Murphy made a drastic lineup change, giving catcher Derek Norris his first career start at first base while Yonder Alonso moved over to the hot corner. While the team defense didn't suffer, Norris made his bat count by belting a solo homer in the sixth to give his team a 2-0 lead.
"It was a good ballgame," Murphy said. "I'm happy for the Padres. It's a little silly to make it about me today. It's the middle of the season, and we've got to start playing consistent."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.