Eric Hosmer and the San Diego Padres earned their first win of the 2021 season behind an offense capable of being the best in Major League Baseball.
For the second consecutive year, the San Diego Padres opened their season against the Arizona Diamondbacks. And for the second consecutive season, Eric Hosmer had a big game on Opening Day. In game one of the shortened 2020 campaign, the Padres’ first baseman hit two three-run doubles, notching a six-RBI day.
Hosmer finished last year with a .287/.333/.517 slash line to go along with nine home runs and 36 RBI’s in 38 games. He missed several games at the beginning of the season due to gastrointestinal issues, but overall, it was a positive season for the 31-year-old.
As a group, the Padres went from a bottom-five offense in the league to one of the best. Hosmer, along with Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Wil Myers, helped the Padres achieve the fourth-best OPS (.798) and third-most runs (325) in baseball.
On Thursday, the Padres continued where they left off, scoring eight runs, including six runs between the second and fourth innings. The fifth inning saw the Diamondbacks put a six-spot on the scoreboard. In years past, the Padres offense would have had difficulty mounting a comeback.
However, the 2021 version rallied for two runs, one in each of the sixth and seventh innings, to earn an 8-7 victory on Opening Day.
“Last year, we made such a big stride in the getting into the top-ten in most of the offensive categories,” Hosmer explained. “I think, this year, we’re looking to improve as well. When we stay to our approach, and we stay to our gameplan, and we execute as an offense, it’s fun to watch.”
Hosmer was part of a three-run third inning for the Padres, highlighted by he and Wil Myers going back-to-back, extending the Padres lead to three at the time. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the former Kansas City Royal knocked in Tatis on an RBI double on a chopper down the right-field line. And moving to the bottom of the sixth, Hosmer tied the game at seven, with an RBI single into right field.
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The first two seasons in San Diego were a disappointment for Hosmer, especially after signing an eight-year contract worth $144M. He looked nothing like the player that hit .318 for the Royals in 2017 and helped the team to their first World Series title since 1985 during the 2015 campaign.
Hosmer went 3-for-4 with three RBI’s in Wednesday’s series opener. While it wasn’t as impressive as the 2020 season opener, there is something about meaningful games that have gotten Hosmer off on the right foot the last two seasons.
“It was nice to play for something,” Hosmer said. “Just the excitement for the Opening Day, no matter what year it is in your career, it’s exciting. It’s a special day. You want to be on the winning side of it.”
Hosmer and the Padres are back at it against the Diamondbacks, with the first pitch set for 7:10 pm PT.