Petco Park- San Diego, California
The buzz was already spreading throughout the ballpark before the game even started. Word trickled down before the first pitch that both Eric Hosmer and superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. were to be activated from the injured list and in the lineup for the Wednesday matinee against the Colorado Rockies.
Tatis certainly put on a show in his return.
First, Joe Musgrove regained his form from early April when he secured the franchise’s first no-hitter. He was efficient and his breaking balls were baffling Rockies hitters all day long.
— MLB (@MLB) May 19, 2021
All Musgrove needed was one run of support with how stellar he looked on the mound. In the end, he tossed seven shutout innings, with 11 strikeouts, marking the third time this season he notched double-digit strikeouts. The El Cajon native allowed just two hits and did not walk anyone on his way to his fourth victory in a Padres uniform. After battling for average results for a few starts, Musgrove looked like the pitcher who looked like the best pitcher in baseball for the first three weeks of the season.
“This is probably the best my stuff has been at,” Musgrove said after the game. “I have been working super hard the past 2 weeks just try to dial in my delivery and be more efficient.”
Musgrove got his one run of support he needed in the fourth inning. The much-anticipated return of Tatis to the lineup was met with equally exciting results. He launched an opposite-field solo home run to put the Friars up 1-0, his 10th homer of the season.
He was just getting warmed up. Before the home run, Tatis had singled and stole a base, while displaying other-worldly flexibility.
It hurts to watch. 😳 pic.twitter.com/detKvuGi0m
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) May 19, 2021
Tatis doubled in each of his last two plate appearances. In the bottom of the eighth, he came up just needing a triple to secure the first cycle in Petco Park history. However, the ball was hit too hard off the wall and he had to settle for an RBI single.
Tatis was not the only hitter putting on a show. Jake Cronenworth also made history in the bottom of the sixth. With the Padres needing an insurance run, Cronenworth launched a line drive towards the right-field porch. Rockies’ right fielder Charlie Blackmon played the ball poorly off the wall and it bounced far away from him, allowing the Padres’ second baseman to fly around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
“That was a huge run at the time. The runs are hard to come by. That was big being able to get our second run on the board,” Jayce Tingler said after the game.
This is wild. Cronenworth continues to impress in his sophomore season: pic.twitter.com/hxTEQVF6kV
— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) May 19, 2021
Between Tatis’ four-hit day, including three extra-base hits, along with Cronenworth’s unlikely feat, that was all the scoring the Padres needed. After Musgrove went seven scoreless innings, Craig Stammen and Mark Melancon locked it down in the eighth and ninth for the 3-0 win.
The Friars are rolling. This marks six straight wins and two straight series sweeps. They have opened up their homestand at 6-0 and will welcome the floundering Seattle Mariners to town this weekend.
Tatis raised his batting average to .270 on the season after seeing it dip as low as .118 on April 19.
“The boys are rolling,” Tatis said after the game, “we trust ourselves and we are going for that deep run.”