Major League Baseball

Dickerson, surging Giants visit Padres

mlb6GIANTS (36-47) AT PADRES (42-41)

Alex Dickerson returns to Petco Park on Monday to face his former team as a member of the San Francisco Giants and one of the resurging Giants’ hottest hitters.

Dickerson entered spring training in 2017 with the possibility of hitting cleanup for the San Diego Padres. That was the Padres’ original projection for the 6-foot-3, left-handed-hitting outfielder.

But Dickerson had back issues in spring training and ultimately missed the entire season after undergoing surgery to remove a bulging disc. But the Padres kept him on their roster.

He then missed the entire 2018 season after injuring his throwing elbow in spring training and having Tommy John surgery. Again, the Padres kept him in their system.

But Dickerson, who was raised in the San Diego suburb of Poway, saw his time run out with the Padres in mid-May. After struggling with injury and ineffectiveness, Dickerson was designated for assignment on June 4 and traded to the Giants six days later for minor league reliever Franklin Van Gurp.

Since joining the Giants, Dickerson has gone 12-for-32 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, four walks, 12 RBIs and seven runs scored in 10 games. That’s good for a .375 batting average, .444 on-base percentage and .750 slugging percentage for a 1.194 OPS.

“We always liked Alex,” Padres manager Andy Green said recently. “But we ran into a numbers crunch with a surplus of outfielders on the 40-man roster. Sometimes you are forced to make difficult decisions. … Alex was one of those.”

Dickerson won’t be the only former Padre returning to San Diego. Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who has announced this will be his final season as the manager of the Giants, skippered the Padres from 1995 through the 2006 season and was a member of the Padres’ system for 24 straight seasons starting as a player in 1983.

“San Diego and the Padres will always be a major part of my baseball experience,” said Bochy, who led the Padres to four division titles and the 1998 National League championship.

This will be the Giants’ second of three visits to Petco Park this season. The Padres opened the season by winning three of four games from San Francisco at home. Since then, the Padres have twice been to Oracle Park, where the Giants have won three of five.

The three-game series opens Monday night with rookie left-hander Logan Allen (2-0, 1.38 ERA) pitching for the Padres against veteran Jeff Samardzija (4-7, 4.52 ERA).

Allen, 22, has made two starts since being promoted from Triple-A El Paso on June 16. He has given up two runs on 11 hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts in 13 innings.

The 34-year-old Samardzija is in his fourth season with the Giants. He will be making his 17th start of the season Monday and the 222nd of his career. He has a 1.291 WHIP this season with 72 strikeouts in 83 2/3 innings.

Samardzija has an 8-3 career record against the Padres with a 3.46 ERA, a 1.163 WHIP and a .231 opponents’ batting average in 18 games (16 starts) with 102 strikeouts in 104 innings. He is 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA, a 0.940 WHIP and a .197 OBA in nine appearances (eight starts) at Petco Park.

–Field Level Media

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