Tatis’ monster 2-run homer helps Padres beat Athletics 7-4
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Fernando Tatis Jr. has quite the flair for big home runs.
Fans of the San Diego Padres have come to expect nothing less from the young superstar, including his signature bat flip and stutter-step rounding third base.
Tatis’ monster 440-foot, two-run homer gave the Padres the boost they needed to rally past the Oakland Athletics 7-4 on Tuesday night.
Manny Machado added a three-run shot, Adam Frazier had two hits and two runs in his debut for the Padres, and Jake Cronenworth hit a go-ahead, two-run single with the bases loaded during a five-run fifth inning that helped Chris Paddack (7-6) to his third straight win.
But it was Tatis’ NL-leading 31st homer, about as impressive as they come at Petco Park, that sent the crowd into a frenzy. The All-Star shortstop launched a 2-1 slider from rookie right-hander James Kaprielian into the Estrella Jalisco Landing, a seating area just below the video board that’s perched atop the second deck in left field. He flipped his bat and did his stutter-step rounding third base to celebrate a two-out shot that pulled the Padres to 3-2 in the third.
Tatis laughed when asked if he felt he got cheated on the projected distance.
“Absolutely. I got robbed,” he said. “That’s not 440. It’s like 480, at least.”
Tatis said it’s not quite as hard as he can hit a ball.
“I think I can probably get to the big board,” he said. “That’s one of the best so far.”
Padres manager Jayce Tingler was impressed.
“Down three, we get a runner on, Tati comes to the plate and all of a sudden it just rejuvenates not only the dugout, but it rejuvenates the stadium,” Tingler said. “You can feel it. So all of a sudden one big swing, you’re right back in the game.”
Frazier, the NL’s starting second baseman in the All-Star Game, was obtained Monday from Pittsburgh for three prospects. He started in left field and batted leadoff. He legged out an infield single in the third and was aboard for Tatis’ mammoth homer. Frazier singled to left in the fifth and scored the go-ahead run on Cronenworth’s single.
Machado’s opposite-field shot to right, his 18th, brought in Cronenworth and Tatis — aboard on a walk — for a 7-3 lead.
The Padres needed a bit of a pick-me-up after going 5-4 on a 10-game trip — a game at Atlanta was suspended due to rain and will be finished in late September — including consecutive losses at Miami on Saturday and Sunday.
Paddack allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings, struck out six and walked one. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his major league-leading 31st save in 35 chances.
After Paddack breezed through the first two innings, the A’s jumped on him in the third for three runs and five hits. Kaprielian singled with one out for his first big league hit and Mark Canha and Ramon Laureano followed with singles to load the bases. Matt Olson hit a sacrifice fly, Jed Lowrie an RBI single and Sean Murphy an RBI double.
Kaprielan (5-4) allowed six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out six and walked one.
Murphy hit a solo homer off Drew Pomeranz in the eighth, his 13th.
LHP Sean Manaea (7-6, 3.16 ERA) of the A’s and LHP Blake Snell (4-3, 4.93) of the Padres are scheduled to start the finale of the two-game series Wednesday afternoon.
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