Padres host Astros and Rockies for eighth homestand

The Padres return home Monday, July 16 for a week-long homestand, featuring four games against the Houston Astros followed by a weekend series against the Colorado Rockies.  The homestand will be highlighted by Padres Summer Sky Blast and California National Guard Appreciation Day.

Home action begins tonight with a 7:05 p.m. start against the Astros. Prior to the game, the Padres will celebrate National Zookeeper’s Week with a pregame ceremony featuring an American Alligator, a cheetah, a Pygmy Falcon and other animal guests from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. 

Tuesday marks the Eighth Annual Dog Days of Summer event, presented by Petco, when hundreds of dogs and their owners will be hosted by Petco out at Park at the Park. Dogs will also have the opportunity to participate in a pre-game “tail” gate party, photo booths and an on-field pet parade around the warning track. Costumes are encouraged, and prizes will be awarded to costumed dogs in a variety of categories. As part of the festivities, Uggie, the four-legged star of the Oscar-winning film The Artist, will “throw” out the Ceremonial First Pitch. Once the game has commenced, dogs and their parents are invited to cheer on the Padres from the Park at the Park. The application period for the Dog Days of Summer has closed. No walk-ups will be accepted.

The Padres have teamed up with State Farm for the Go to Bat program to salute some of the area’s deserving charities that have shown support and commitment to building strong communities. Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Padres will be honoring the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network with the State Farm Go to Bat recognition. PANCAN is an organization dedicated to advancing research, supporting patients and creating hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.

With the recent passing of longtime Padres bullpen coach, Darrel Akerfelds, the San Diego Padres have teamed with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to create a legacy fund in Ak’s honor. Fans can donate by visiting http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/ak48/KeeptheMemoryAlive.

Wednesday’s 12:35 p.m. game marks Youth Day, with approximately 1,500 day campers participating in a pregame parade around the warning track.

As part of Wednesday’s pregame ceremony, former San Diego State Aztecs Quarterback Ryan Lindley will throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch. Lindley was a sixth round pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The weekend starts Thursday with Padres College Night, featuring special ticket discounts for college students with a valid student ID ($9 in advance or $10 on game day in Right Field Upper Reserved College Night section). A DJ from Channel 93.3 will be spinning at the Budweiser Patio in Right Field from 6:00 p.m. until the conclusion of the game. For more information on the remaining College Night event this season, visit www.padres.com/college.

The first 10,000 people in attendance Thursday will receive a pair of Padres sunglasses, presented by Knockaround Sunglasses. Thursday’s Ceremonial First Pitch will be thrown by local UFC fighter Brandon “The Truth” Vera.

Also Thursday, the Padres will recognize local players selected to participate in the 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic presented by Rawlings, which will be held Sunday, Aug. 12, at 6 p.m. at Petco Park. Representatives from Perfect Game, Rady Children’s Hospital and the San Diego Sports Commission, including the game’s 2012 Honorary Chair Trevor Hoffman, will be on hand as part of Thursday’s pregame ceremony. Also set to be recognized Thursday are two local standouts selected to play in the game this year, Ian Clarkin, a pitcher at James Madison High School and Stephen Gonsalves, a pitcher for Cathedral Catholic High School.  Dane McFarland, a pitcher/catcher from Junipero Serra High School in Laguna Niguel will also be named to the team and in attendance Thursday

Prior to Saturday’s game, the Padres and Make-A-Wish San Diego will join forces to grant the organization’s 3,000th wish to one very deserving Wish kid. The granting of the Wish will be a surprise during the pregame ceremony. Make-A-Wish San Diego is the Padres Foundation’s featured charity partner this homestand. The non-profit organization grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since its inception, more than 200,000 wishes have been granted nationwide.

Following Saturday’s game, fans are invited to stay to enjoy the biggest and longest fireworks display in Petco Park history! The inaugural Padres Summer Sky Blast presented by Verizon will light up the sky with launch points all over the ballpark, featuring popular music from a wide variety of decades.

The homestand wraps up Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. start against the Rockies. Sunday marks California National Guard Appreciation Day, presented by USAA. A special pregame ceremony is planned to honor the men and women serving in the California National Guard and their families. 

Also Sunday, the Padres and State Farm will recognize the community impact of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as part of the State Farm Go to Bat program.

Prior to all Sunday home games, fans with tickets are invited to enjoy Breakfast at the Park. A special selection of breakfast menu items will be offered for purchase along K Street at Park at the Park.  In addition to seating at the Park at the Park, tables may be set up on the warning track, allowing fans to dine on the Petco Park field on a first-come, first-served basis, barring batting practice. Gates will open to Season Ticket Holders with reservations at 10:00 a.m. Gates will open to the general public at 10:30 a.m.

From 11:30 a.m. to noon two Padres players will sign autographs at the Park at the Park for Jr. Padres Sunday Signings. A Junior Padres membership is required to participate in the signing event. Membership is free, and kids can sign up online or in-person on the day of the event.

Tickets for all remaining regular season home games can be purchased online at padres.com, at the Petco Park box office, by phone at (619) 795-5555 and at the Padres Store in Tijuana.