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Padres to Play At Full Capacity At Petco Park For First Time Since 2019

San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr., right, celebrates with teammates after ...

Photo by AP Photo / Derrick Tuskan

Above: San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr., right, celebrates with teammates after hitting a grand slam in the seventh inning of a baseball game, May 23, 2021.

The San Diego Padres will play a game at Petco Park at full capacity for the first time in 630 days when they face the Cincinnati Reds Thursday at what the team is billing as "San Diego's Opening Day."

Capacity had been limited at Petco Park this season because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic imposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Statewide restrictions were lifted Tuesday. Fans were prohibited from Petco Park during the coronavirus-delayed and shortened 2020 season.

Thursday night, pregame ceremonies will include the Padres and Petco honoring 4,000 front-line workers, 275 uniformed personnel from Navy Region Southwest unfurling the American flag and a flyover by F/A-18 Hornets from MCAS Miramar.

The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Nancy Yam, director of acute care pharmacy services for UC San Diego Health.

RELATED: San Diego County, Padres Team Up For Vaccination Event At Petco Park

A fireworks show will follow the game.

Right-hander Joe Musgrove (4-6) will pitch for the Padres, while left- hander Wade Miley (6-4) will start for the Reds in a rare matchup of pitchers who have thrown no-hitters in the same season.

Musgrove is 2-6 since pitching the Padres' first no-hitter April 9, including losing his last two decisions.

Miley is 2-2 since pitching a no-hitter May 7 against Cleveland, winning his last two decisions.

The Padres have lost seven of their last eight games to drop to third in the National League West, six games behind the division-leading San Francisco Giants.

Cincinnati has won six consecutive games to move into third in the National League Central, two games off the division lead shared by the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers.

With near-capacity crowds expected at Petco Park for the remainder of the season, the Metropolitan Transit System will increase the frequency of its trolley service, with trolleys serving all stations every seven to 15 minutes most of the day.

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