PHOENIX (AP) — Fernando Tatis Jr.’s long-awaited return to the baseball field included zero hits, one terrific defensive play and a victory for the San Diego Padres.
Trent Grisham had two doubles and four RBIs, Xander Bogaerts added a two-run homer and the Padres beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-5 in Tatis’ return from a PED suspension Thursday night.
“It’s great to be back out there with my boys,” Tatis said. “Just happy to get that ‘W’ and be back out there. Embraced every single moment, embraced the fans, embraced everything.”
Tatis was 0 for 5 with two strikeouts in his first regular-season game since 2021, batting leadoff and playing right field. His highlight of the night came on defense in the eighth, when he sprinted back and to his left before snagging a line drive, robbing Josh Rojas of an extra-base hit.
Manager Bob Melvin said when the ball came off Rojas’ bat, he didn’t even look to see where it landed because he thought it was a sure double. Then he heard the fans roar and realized Tatis — who made the switch to the outfield from shortstop during the offseason — had made the catch.
“It’s just not that easy to come in and get four or five hits like everyone expects,” Melvin said. “But he definitely contributed in the outfield.”
The 24-year-old Tatis missed all of last season, first because of a broken left wrist and then an 80-game PED suspension.
Grisham and Bogaerts were among the Padres that made up for Tatis’ slow offensive start. Grisham drove home two runs in the second inning to give the Padres a 2-0 lead and had another two-run double in the sixth that made it 7-5.
Bogaerts mashed a 405-foot shot in the third for his fifth homer of the season. Matt Carpenter also had a solo homer.
Tatis was greeted with a mix of cheers and boos in his first at-bats at Chase Field, thanks to a large contingent of Padres fans.
“There were more Padres fans than Arizona fans,” Tatis said. “It was amazing how they showed up, they were loud and it felt like we were at home.”
The Padres jumped to a 5-1 lead after Carpenter’s homer in the fourth, but the D-backs responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning off righty Michael Wacha to tie it. Rojas had a two-run single in the rally.
Wacha last just four innings, giving up five runs on 10 hits. He struck out three and walked one. Brent Honeywell (2-0) got the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Josh Hader worked the ninth for his sixth save in as many chances.
Arizona right-hander Ryne Nelson gave up five runs over five innings. Kyle Nelson (3-1) took the loss after giving up two unearned runs in relief.
The D-backs lost despite a 12-7 advantage in hits. Christian Walker had a three-hit night, including a double and an RBI.
The Diamondbacks also made roster news Thursday, though it was a subtraction instead of an addition.
Arizona designated four-time All-Star Madison Bumgarner for assignment following his latest shaky start, eating roughly $34.4 million of the salary from his $85 million, five-year deal that was signed in 2020.
The 33-year-old allowed at least five runs in three of his four starts this season and dropped to 1-3 with a 10.26 ERA after his latest blowup at St. Louis on Wednesday.
The left-hander hasn’t lived up to expectations in the desert since signing his long-term deal. A postseason hero for San Francisco, he has gone 15-32 with a 5.23 ERA in 69 starts and is having his worst season with Arizona.
Padres: Sent OF Brandon Dixon to Triple-A to make room for Tatis. They also transferred RHP Robert Suarez to the 60-day IL.
Diamondbacks: RHP Anthony Misiewicz was added to the roster after Bumgarner was designated for assignment.
The Padres send RHP Seth Lugo (2-0, 2.70 ERA) to the mound Friday night. He’ll face RHP Zac Gallen (2-1, 3.33 ERA), who has thrown 14 2/3 scoreless innings over his past two starts.
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