Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/29/12

Even before the game, Friday night was special for San Diego Padres rookies Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal.

The two Cuban natives arrived in the Miami at the age of 10 after fleeing Cuba with their families. Both went to high school in Miami and attended the University of Miami.

Friday night, the teammates and friends returned with the Padres to play their first game in the new Marlins Stadium, and it turned out to be a grand homecoming. They each had two clutch hits in the Padres' 7-2 win.

Grandal put the Padres ahead with a three-run triple in the top of the sixth, and Alonso snapped a 0-for-21 drought with two run-scoring singles as the Padres overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat Carlos Zambrano.

"That was great for those guys," said Padres manager Bud Black. "They both had cheering sections. For them each to get a couple big hits made a lot of people happy."

"That was fun, everything that I was hoping for," said Alonso. "And it felt great to snap that 0-for. It's a learning process -- it feels like this entire year has been a learning process."

Grandal said, "What made it extra special is that this was my first game here. To me, this is holy ground ... they built this beautiful ballpark on the ground of the old Cotton Bowl. I have a huge sense of pride about this place."

Grandal figured he won one contest with Alonso.

Grandal estimated he had 170 family members and fans at the game. Alonso rented a suite but could directly account for only 50 to 60 members of the crowd of 23,161. But Alonso said he has a party of 80 coming to Saturday's game, and the count should reach triple digits for Sunday's series finale.

Grandal raised his average to .307 and has 14 RBI in his first 21 major league games. Alonso has 15 RBI over his last 20 games.

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