Shades of Big Mac in McGwire-led Padres

April 20th, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- Padres manager Andy Green discovered something after he was ejected from Tuesday night's 5-4 win over the Pirates.

"When Mark McGwire is managing, they hit home runs," he said of the Padres' hitters.

Green got the heave-ho when barking about a balk call that was reversed twice, finishing in the Pirates' favor, during the third inning. With Green spending the rest of the game pacing in his office, McGwire, the bench coach, took over.

In his first regular-season game as acting manager, McGwire got the win -- thanks in part to home runs by Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Adam Rosales.

"It's not the way you want to get it, but I sort of had a feeling that once they switched the call that Andy was going to be upset," McGwire said.

So McGwire huddled with pitching coach Darren Balsley, and they navigated the game that gave the Padres their second home win of the year.

"They did a great job," Green said. "They worked through it very, very well."

The Padres seemed to get a lift when Green was done tossing his cap and storming about. McGwire said a manager backing his players doesn't go unnoticed and can fire them up.

"Oh yeah, absolutely it can always do that," said McGwire, who's in his first year as a bench coach after previously serving as Dodgers hitting coach. "But the guys were ready to play today. We were ready."

Even if McGwire didn't know he would end up calling the game from the top step.

He took over after getting between Green and the umpire and escorting him off the field having said his piece.

Green said it was clear that it was time to go.

"Big Mac is strong," Green said. "I haven't had his paw on my back before. Now I understand what Matt Williams and Kirk Gibson felt like a few years ago in that brawl."

The Padres showed plenty of fight on Tuesday. In the process, they made a winner out of McGwire by playing his game -- bashing multiple home runs.

"I hope it happens a lot more," McGwire said.