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Padre Notebook : Cora Is Set to Open at 2nd Base

March 27, 1987|TOM FRIEND | Times Staff Writer

YUMA, Ariz. — Rookie Joey Cora will be the Padres' opening-day second baseman, Manager Larry Bowa said Thursday.

Cora, 21, spent last season at the Double-A level, but he impressed Bowa with his patience at the plate (he leads the team with 11 walks this spring) and his play in the field.

"I told Joey yesterday (Wednesday)," Bowa said. "He"ll bat near the bottom of the lineup. Listen, he's been playing very good defense, and I'm not at all concerned about his offense. He's moved runners and stolen bases. He's done the things we wanted."

Cora, a native of Puerto Rico, said: "My first two or three weeks (of spring training) were pretty shaky. But I did the things they wanted. Still, I thought I was going to Triple-A. This was a surprise. Larry faked me out. He called me in, shut the door and said I was going down (to the minors) for a month. Then he said, 'Just kidding. You made the team.' "

Cora beat out veteran Tim Flannery for the job. Flannery will be a utility infielder.

"I told Tim, and he says he understands," Bowa said. "There'll be times Joey struggles, and we'll need him."

"I've got to work to stay here," Cora said. "Every year they bring in a new second baseman, and every year it's Tim Flannery in the end."

Padre Notes In their 4-0 victory over the Brewers Thursday night, pitcher Eric Show--coming back from an elbow injury--struck out nine batters in five innings, gave up just two hits and didn't walk a man. Ed Whitson struck out four and gave up just two hits in four innings. "They threw the hell out of the ball," Manager Larry Bowa said. . . . Rookie Joey Cora had three hits and two RBIs. . . . Outfielder Tony Gwynn had two hits, including a triple.

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