The San Diego Padres rallied for an important win on Thursday thanks to the return of shortstop and leadoff hitter Fernando Tatis Jr.
Fernando Tatis Jr. returned to the San Diego Padres on Thursday, and it didn’t take him long to make an impact.
Tatis scored the tying run and went 1-for-2 with two walks as the Padres rallied from an early deficit to beat the Washington Nationals at PETCO Park, breaking a two-game losing streak.
The Padres won 5-4, snagging victory from the jaws of defeat after starter Joey Lucchesi had a disastrous first inning that immediately put his team into a deep hole.
Lucchesi gave up four runs in the opening frame, finishing the day having given up four runs on four hits (all earned), including a two-run home run to Brian Dozier. He also walked three during his five innings of work.
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However, since San Diego’s rally began in the bottom of the fifth, Lucchesi still picked up the win (5-3) over Patrick Corbin (5-4).
Trey Wingenter and Craig Stammen also recovered from their poor outings during the Phillies series, as they both pitched a scoreless inning in relief, along with Matt Wisler. Kirby Yates recorded his 23rd save.
But with the Nationals getting on the board early, it was the Friars’ offense that was under pressure as the team needed to stop their two-game skid from turning into three.
Hunter Renfroe did his part, launching a two-run home run in the bottom of the second as he kept making his case to be named a National League All-Star. Renfroe has the fifth-most home runs in the National League, and later made a jaw-dropping catch in the top of the eighth that preserved the Padres’ narrow lead.
Franmil Reyes and Manny Machado also had runs batted in, while Manuel Margot went 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.
On the flip side, Machado and Wil Myers missed a few opportunities to make the game a little less close. Myers left two runners in scoring position and went hitless (0-for-2 with a strikeout, but also two walks). Machado, aside from the aforementioned RBI, struck out while going 0-for-4 and left three on base.
The victory was important for San Diego on a number of levels—it not only put an end to their losing streak, but got the team back over the break-even mark at 32-31. Unfortunately, both of the teams ahead of them in the National League West were off Thursday, so they weren’t able to make up any ground in the division with the win.
The story of the day, though, will be Fernando Tatis Jr. getting back into the starting lineup and not missing a step. He immediately produced at the plate, and showed that he’s got no problem on the basepaths, either. His return makes the Padres more well-rounded on offense, because he can get things started—and that’s what they need to win more games and start closing in on both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks to capture the NL West.
The Padres vs. Nationals series continues Friday at 7:10 p.m. PT. For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres’ 2019 season, keep following Friars on Base.