1969: Corkins Corked in Big-League Debut at Houston

September 8, 1969, Houston: Astros 9, Padres 2 (box score)

Mike Corkins made his first big-league start on a Monday in the Astrodome. It could have gone better.

Corkins, whom the Padres selected from the Giants with the 31st pick in the expansion draft, didn’t make it out of the second inning. Heck, he barely made it out of the first, allowing four runs on four hits (all for extra bases, including two triples to lead off the game) and a walk.

The Padres scored in the second on a one-out solo home run off the bat of Nate Colbert to make the score 4-1, but Houston answered with a run of its own. After striking out the first two batters he faced, Corkins gave up a single to Jesus Alou and walked Jimmy Wynn. After a Tommy Davis single brought home Alou, Corkins was done, replaced by Dave Roberts, who retired Curt Blefary to stop the bleeding.

It was too late, of course. Colbert knocked his second homer of the game in the fourth, another solo shot that made the score 5-2, but the Astros kept coming, adding two in the fifth and two more in the seventh. Houston starter Tom Griffin took care of the rest, going the distance and striking out 11 en route to his 10th victory of the season.

Trivia: In addition to Corkins, whose career bears a strong resemblance to that of Mark Grant, two other Padres made their big-league debuts in this game. Jim Williams struck out batting for pitcher Tom Dukes to lead off the eighth, while Ron Slocum pinch ran for Al Ferrara the following inning. Between the two of them, Williams and Slocum would collect 28 hits in the major leagues over the next three years.

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