Huge crowds expected as Padres face off with Yankees at Petco Park

MLB to announce suspensions in doping scandal

SAN DIEGO - A sellout is expected Friday for the New York Yankees' first game at Petco Park, with the San Diego Padres strongly encouraging fans to arrive early, utilize public transport or pre-purchase parking passes on the team's website, padres.com.

Limited, scattered seats were available as of Thursday afternoon, according to Shana Wilson, the Padres communications manager. Saturday's game is sold out. Limited, scattered seats were available for Sunday's finale of the three-game series as of Thursday afternoon, Wilson said.

Padres parking lots are expected to fill two hours before the first pitch, which is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Fans are encouraged to park along Harbor Drive at Convention Center garages and utilize the pedestrian bridge. Suggested routes and maps can be found at padres.com/transportation.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System will offer special event trolley service from Qualcomm Stadium and Mission Valley stations to the Petco Park area. The North County Transit District will offer special Padres Coaster trains that depart from Oceanside Station and include free trolley connections.

More information on transportation options is available on the access guide page at padres.com/transportation.

A pregame ceremony is scheduled to honor retiring Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, baseball's career saves leader, with Padres career saves leader Trevor Hoffman presenting Rivera with a retirement gift from the team.

A ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Hall of Famer Dave Winfield and San Diego native Graig Nettles, who both played for the Yankees and Padres.

Although Friday's game is the Yankees first at Petco Park, which opened in 2004, they have played five other official games in San Diego. They won two of three games against the Padres at Qualcomm Stadium in 2002 and two other games at the Padres' first home in the 1998 World Series, completing a four-game sweep.

Meanwhile, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is not expected to be at the San Diego games. According to MLB.com, Rodriguez will be at his second minor league injury rehabilitation assignment with th Trenton Thunder.

This weekend's games comes as Major League Baseball is preparing to announce player suspensions in the latest doping scandal. Rodriguez is looking at the longest suspension, but at least eight are also expected to be disciplined. Padres Everth Cabrera and Yasmani Grandal are among the players on the list.

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