Tatis shines in return to Petco Park, as Padres beat Reds 8-3

Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres continued their recent offensive resurgence found in Mexico City over the weekend against the San Francisco Giants as San Diego defeated Cincinnati 8-3 in the first game of a three-game series at Petco Park. The Friars tallied a total of 22 runs in Mexico’s capital at over 7 thousand feet and were able to keep the bats hot back sea level.

This game was a highly anticipated one by Friar’ faithful as it was the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. to the Gaslamp fortress since 2021. A sold-out crowd greeted the Dominican superstar back at Petco Park as he was received with praise and cheers by the local crowd.

Tatis gave back to the people in his return, signing autographs, taking photos, and providing a great performance on the field. “Bebo” went 3-for-5 with a run scored and a very nice catch in the outfield, as he has been adapting very nicely as an everyday outfielder since his return. Tatis talked about playing in the outfield before the start of the game. Tatis said, “It’s a new challenge; I’m closer to the fans. I can show a different skill set in the outfield and glad with my new challenge.”

While “El Niño” was the big talking point heading into the match, he was not the big star of the day for the Padres. Fan favorite Ha-Seong Kim had the decisive moment of the game in the fifth inning of the game as he belted a three-run home run off Alex Young that just surpassed the left-field wall to drive in Xander Bogaerts and Matt Carpenter.

Kim’s homer made it a 6-3 game in the bottom of the fifth inning as Padres fans chanted his name and even asked the Korean star for a curtain call. Kim pleased the sold-out crowd and talked about the moment after the game with Bally Sports San Diego. Kim said, “Fans give me energy all the time. Every time I’m up to bat, I can hear them chanting my name. I try to pay back, give them something good. I was able to do it; I’m happy for the fans.”

Every single player in Bob Melvin’s lineup got at least a hit, from Tatis Jr. to Brett Sullivan, as it was truly a brilliant collective offensive display.

The other scoring plays on the day included a Juan Soto double in the first inning that drove in Tatis and Manny Machado. In the bottom of the fourth, a double by Trent Grisham drove in hero of the night Ha-Seong Kim to tie the game 3-3. After Kim’s homer in the fifth, Manny Machado was able to drive in Trent Grisham and Brett Sullivan with a single to right field that made it 8-3.

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The pitching in the game for San Diego was also on point, just was out-shined by the offense on the day. Blake Snell pitched six strong innings where he weaved out of trouble, allowing eight hits and striking out seven batters. Steven Wilson had a rough time in Mexico City, but back at sea level pitched an inning with no hits and two strikeouts against the Reds.

Domingo Tapia closed out the game, pitching two hitless innings and striking out Jake Fraley and Curt Casali in his spotless work. This was a tremendous way for the Padres to return home after a euphoria-filled weekend in Mexico City against the Giants. The Friars now extend their winning streak to three games as Xander Bogaerts also broke a franchise record by extending his on-base streak to 30 games to open a season.

Padres are now 16-14 on the season, just a game behind Arizona, and will play the Reds again on Tuesday night as Michael Wacha faces off against Graham Ashcraft.

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