SAN FRANCISCO — Joey Cora Sr. surprised Joey Cora Jr. Sunday night.
He showed up.
Cora was making his major league debut here Monday, and his father didn't want to miss it. So Joey Sr., a Padre scout based in Puerto Rico, flew all day Sunday to meet the Padres in San Francisco.
"He had made a promise he'd see my first big-league game," Cora said, "but I wasn't sure he'd come. All I know is, they're having a big party at my home in Puerto Rico. They have a satellite dish and they probably were watching it."
What they saw in the eighth inning was Cora lining a single to left for his first major league hit.
"When I got the first hit, it took like 200 pounds off me," Cora said. "They gave me the ball. I'm going to try to get Krukow to sign it, and my dad's going to take it home."
The first thing Cora's father did when he got to San Francisco was give his son a pep talk. Cora had been trying too hard in recent weeks and had been struggling at the plate.
"I told him to forget it, to just be himself," Joey Sr. said. "Since then, he slowed down."
Cora said: "He helped me relax."
Left fielder John Kruk, who was replaced in the lineup Monday by Carmelo Martinez, ended an 0-for-10 spring training slump with a pinch-hit single to left in the 10th.
"It does take a load off," Kruk said. "I finally hit one to left field. I was lunging before, but I waited that time. I can't be stupid anymore. I'm through being stupid--on the field, anyway."
Padre Manager Larry Bowa said he would have used Goose Gossage in relief in the 10th, but Gossage is still bothered by a muscle pull in his left rib cage.
Gossage's status is day-to-day.
Center fielder Stan Jefferson had a talk with Bowa Sunday night, and they apparently cleared up their miscommunication.
Jefferson had sprained his ankle a week ago, but was afraid to approach Bowa Sunday to tell him that he was ready to play. He had heard from other players that Bowa was angry at him for not coming back sooner, and he didn't want to get near Bowa.
But they talked it out.
"Too many people were telling Stan what to do," Bowa said. "They think they're helping him. But when eight guys are pulling at your shirt, you don't know which way to turn."
Jefferson will run in the outfield and take batting practice early today to see if he's ready. He might start in center field tonight.
The Detroit Tigers called Jack McKeon, Padre general manager, last week to ask if he was interested in trading Carmelo Martinez, who hit a home run Monday.
McKeon asked who the Tigers were willing to give up, and the Tigers said: "Young prospects."
"I'm not going to trade him for somebody else's prospects," McKeon said this weekend. "I'm not in that business anymore. I've got 16 of those types of players. We're going to start three, four or five rookies.
"I'm not shopping Carmelo. If someone likes Carmelo, let them make an offer for me to think about. It's up to the clubs to offer me something, not just prospects. Martinez can help us now, because he'll even be better sitting on our bench than having some prospect sitting at Double-A."