SAN DIEGO – Fernando Tatis Jr. saw the ball rolling to the wall in left-center field and raced around the bases, diving headfirst into third as his helmet went flying off.
He stood up and thumped his chest with his right fist after clearing the bases, highlighting a five-run rally that carried the San Diego Padres to a 6-2 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.
It's the kind of exciting play the Padres have come to expect from their young shortstop, and it helped the Padres take three of four games in their opening series.
Trent Grisham hit his first home run for the Padres, who outscored the Diamondbacks 21-9 in the four games.
“This is real big for us, the fact we got three out of four against Arizona,” the 21-year-old Tatis said. “It shows out there the work that we’re putting in, the grind. It’s just a great start for us. The boys are in the same mindset to keep it on the same level and not resting until we’re done with business.”
The Padres feel they’re built for success in this pandemic-shortened 60-game season. San Diego hasn’t been to the playoffs since winning consecutive NL West titles in 2005-06. It hasn’t had a winning season since 2010.
Keeping Tatis healthy will be a key. The son of a former major leaguer, he finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting last year despite being limited to 84 games due to injuries. He didn’t play after mid-August due to a stress reaction in his lower back. He has vowed not to change his hard-charging style.
The Padres scored five runs in the fourth inning before Luke Weaver (0-1) recorded an out.