SAN FRANCISCO — Taylor Rogers struggled to find the right words through all his emotions after he and twin brother Tyler pitched in the same major league game wearing opposing uniforms, each part of the boxscore for a moment they had envisioned for so long.
Taylor pitched the ninth inning to earn his third save in San Diego’s 4-2 victory against the San Francisco Giants on Monday night, with Tyler taking the loss. They even stood in for their managers exchanging the lineup cards, starting the umpire crew before posing for a photo with them.
« I don’t know if I even have the words yet, » said Taylor Rogers, acquired by the Padres from Minnesota last Thursday ahead of opening day. « Really, really cool. I want to thank Bob Melvin and Gabe Kapler for letting us do the lineup cards. That was a special moment and got some good pictures from that, too. I’m so blessed. I can’t believe it’s happening. »
Tyler immediately left the ballpark and the state to go welcome his first child, a boy.
« Next week’s going to feel dull, » joked Taylor, greeted by the game ball already authenticated and in his locker.
Photos similar showed mannerisms, to which Taylor said « that’s how twins work. » The brothers chatted behind the batting cage before the game, then later exchanged the lineup cards at home plate and posed for a photo with the umpire crew. They didn’ don’t know that was part of the plan.
« Probably if you put them in the same uniform you couldn’t tell them apart, » said Melvin, the Padres’ manager. « I know it’s a special day for both of them being able to be on the field together. There’s twins and then there’s twins, and that is a difficult one to tell apart. »
Hours later, Taylor Rogers was summoned to close out the game and hang his brother with a loss.
« I thought about that as I was running out to the mound — this is putting me in a weird spot here, » he said. « It’s OK, because the relationship that we have, it’s not… I’m not going to go over to him and say, ‘Ha, ha.’ I’m going to go over to him and say, ‘Dude, how freakin’ cool was that? »’
According to Elias Sports Bureau research, this marked the first time that twin brothers pitched against each other in MLB history. Entering Monday, there had been only one game in MLB history in which two twin brothers pitched, but they were on the same team: on July 31, 1956, Johnny and Eddie O’Brien both pitched for the Pirates against the Cardinals.
Manny Machado’s RBI groundout in the seventh inning put San Diego ahead, and Austin Nola hit his first home run of the season for the Padres.
Jake Cronenworth’s RBI single in the ninth provided insurance.
Pierce Johnson loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth on a walk to Steven Duggar, but Mauricio Dubon struck out swinging.
Nola connected in the fifth only for the Giants to tie it in the sixth on a two-out wild pitch by winning pitcher Steven Wilson.
San Diego right-hander Nick Martinez made his first major league start since 2017 for Texas after spending three of the past four years playing in Japan. He allowed one run on five hits, struck out six and walked one over five innings.
Melvin said that Padres left-hander Blake Snell, scratched from his start Sunday with tightness in his left upper leg, will wait until Tuesday to throw and then the Padres will determine whether he might need a stint on the 10-day injured list.
« He’s walking around OK, » Melvin said, not ready to guess on Snell’s status. « I want to leave it open. I’m a little skeptical based on the fact that he had to be scratched yesterday, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself and I want him to have some input. »
Giants starter Alex Wood struck out six over 4⅓ innings, allowing two runs on five hits in his first 2022 start. Kapler received his 2021 NL Manager of the Year award during a pregame ceremony. He was thrilled for the Rogers brothers, too.
« We can shine the light on a special day for their family, » the Giants’ skipper said.
ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.