Drury welcomes himself, Soto, and Bell to Slam Diego

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Credit: USA Today Sports

If a scriptwriter wanted to write the perfect story to welcome Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Brandon Drury to San Diego, it would’ve gone like this.

From the sellout crowd on a Wednesday night to the monumental applause for Juan Soto, San Diego’s new golden boy, to a first-inning grand slam from underrated addition Brandon Drury, to a comfortable win, Wednesday’s Padre game was perfect.

Soto immediately looked at home at Petco Park, drawing a four-pitch walk featuring his characteristic ‘Soto Shuffle.’ After the game, Bob Melvin said that “He’s one of those guys who has a lot of energy around him.”. After Manny Machado’s 110-mile-per-hour double, Soto was on third, setting him up to score after Jake Cronenworth was hit by a pitch. 

Drury stepped into the batter’s box with the bases loaded and started his Padres career in the single best way possible. He launched a grand slam into the ‘Slam Diego’ night, putting the Padres up five. Drury became the first player in Padre history to hit a grand slam in his first plate appearance, and he did so on the very first pitch. After the game, Drury talked about his experience, “I was running on pure adrenaline, I was so excited for today. This is amazing.”.

While the Padres offense settled down after the first, the red-hot Trent Grisham did drive in Jorge Alfaro with a double in the fourth. Grisham extended his hitting streak to eight games, hitting .310 with three home runs in the streak. 

In the fifth, the Padres pre-deadline pieces flexed their muscles, with Manny Machado blasting his 19th home run of the season, while a towering bomb from Cronenworth put the Padres ahead by eight. From there, the Padres put their offense in cruise control, with both Nomar Mazara and Matt Batten entering the blowout win.

San Diego had such a comfortable lead because of the way that Blake Snell shut down the Colorado Rockies. Snell threw 106 pitches, 76 of which were for strikes. For the first time all season, Snell did not walk any batters, striking out nine Rockies. He also allowed just four hits and one run, looking very confident on the mound. Snell is known for improving as the season progresses, and since July 1st, he has a 2.60 ERA. As he and Mike Clevinger improve, it continues to set the Padres up for a better and better rotation come the postseason.

Tim Hill and Steven Wilson worked the seventh and eighth innings, each allowing a single, but neither found themselves in much trouble.

Nabil Crismatt struck out a pair of batters in a scoreless ninth, a much-needed clean outing. Crismatt had posted a 5.91 ERA since July 1st, but the solid ninth inning saw him look like his usual self.

Juan Soto recorded his first hit as a Padre on an eighth-inning single but also walked twice in the win. Josh Bell was held hitless, but he did walk twice, scoring a pair of runs in the process. However, it was Drury, whose grand slam put the Padres comfortably out in front, who had the debut to remember.

San Diego’s won five straight and will look to sweep a five-game series with the Rockies with a win on Thursday.

Joe Musgrove will take the mound for the first time since signing his five-year contract extension on Thursday before the Padres head to Chavez Ravine to take on the Dodgers this weekend.

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Sam Evans
Sam is a Senior in High School. He has been writing for three years, and started at EVT in June of 2021.
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