Tatis sets HR record as Padres beat D-Backs 5-4
PHOENIX (AP) — Padres rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. is already has a place in baseball history.
Tatis Jr. became the youngest shortstop to hit four home runs in his first 16 games when he hit one Saturday night, and Franmil Reyes added a tiebreaking solo shot to lift San Diego to a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“That’s awesome,” Tatis Jr. said. “I know I have some pop. I’m just trying to see the ball and hit it.”
Tatis’ two-run homer off Merrill Kelly gave the Padres a 4-0 lead in the third inning, and Reyes’ go-ahead shot in the seventh pushed the Padres to the win after Arizona tied it with four runs in the sixth. The Padres have won four in a row.
“He showed up in the big leagues ready to play in the big leagues,” San Diego manager Andy Green said of Tatis Jr. “It’s shown up in the win loss column for us. It’s shown up again and again by the way he plays. The pose with which he plays, the swings. He has a lot of power.”
Tatis, who is 20 years, 101 days old, hit his first career homer off Kelly in Arizona’s 10-3 victory in San Diego on April 1.
Tatis Jr. is the fifth-youngest player overall since 1900 to go deep four times in his first 16 games, behind Tony Conigliaro, Andrew Jones, Lou Klimchock and Miguel Cabrera.
Craig Stammen (2-0) got the final two outs of the sixth inning for the victory. Kirby Yates gave up a leadoff double to Ketel Marte in the ninth inning before striking out the next three for his major league-leading ninth save.
Matt Strahm pitched five scoreless innings for San Diego before Arizona scored in the sixth on run-scoring hits by Nick Ahmed and Carson Kelly, Ildemaro Vargas’ groundout and Adam Jones’ infield single.
Eric Hosmer had two hits including a two-run single and Manny Margot had two hits for the Padres, who have won eight of 10 and are 9-1 in games decided by two runs or fewer.
The Padres blew a 6-1 lead before rallying behind Margot’s homer for a 7-6 victory on Thursday and recovered af losing a 4-0 lead Saturday.
“What I’m seeing from my team is that we never give up,” said Reyes, who hit No. 2 in the order for the first time this season. “That’s us in 2019. We’re never going to give up.”
Jones and Ahmed had two hits apiece for the Diamondbacks, who have lost three in a row and four of five. Matt Andriese (2-1) took the loss. David Peralta reached four times on a single, two walks and a hit by pitch.
The game got chippy in the seventh inning, when Robert Stock’s ball four pitch to Peralta with a runner on first was low and inside. Peralta flung his bat toward the Arizona dugout and said something to Stock, who gestured to Peralta with his palms up.
Trey Wingenter replaced Stock and picked Jarrod Dyson off second base before walking Christian Walker and hitting Eduardo Escobar to load the bases. Escobar yelled at Wingenter and players milled around before order was restored. Wingenter got Ahmed to ground back to the mound for an inning-ending double play.
“There were some mistakes made, and I think those mistakes compound themselves,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “That (seventh) was a little bit of a grinder. You build the inning and this are moving in a really positive direction. Fortunately we couldn’t score that run.”
The Padres have won four of their first five series for the first time since 1998, when they won a franchise-record 98 games and made the World Series for the second time. They won the first four series and split the fifth that season.
San Diego has won every game of its four-game winning streak by two runs or fewer, and Its last six victories have come that same margin.
“As young as we are, it’s outstanding to see guys kind of rise up and make big plays,” San Diego manager Andy Green said. “Guys are trying to find ways to wins game late.”
Tatis Jr., the youngest position player in the National League, doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of a 2-1 victory Friday.
Diamondbacks: LHP T.J. McFarland (shoulder) threw 17 pitches in a simulated game Saturday and is nearing a rehab assignment, Lovullo said. ... RHP Taijuan Walker (right elbow) is to throw another bullpen session Tuesday.
Padres: LHP Eric Lauer (2-1, 4.76 ERA) will make his fourth start, his ERA compromised by three home runs, including a grand slam by Kevin Pillar in a 6-5 victory last Monday and a three-run shot by pitcher Zack Greinke on April 2.
Diamondbacks: RHP Greinke (1-1, 7.16 ERA) had his first career two-homer game against San Diego in an 8-5 victory in their previous meeting. Greinke has given up nine runs, eight earned, in the first two innings of his three starts this season.