We were told Francisco Mejia was good. We were not lied to.
The rookie catcher made his first start for the Padres and in his first two at-bats hit his first two Major League home runs in a 6-2 win over the Reds in Cincinnati.
In the 3rd inning the 22-year-old turned around a 96 MPH fastball from Cincy starter Luis Castillo and drove it out to left-centerfield, an impressive bit of opposite field pop. One inning later Castillo tried the other side of the plate, putting a heater at 97 on the inside corner and Mejia barreled it up, yanking a 3-run bomb to right field that put the Padres on top 4-0.
Hunter Renfroe added his 20th home run of the year to tie Christian Villanueva for the team lead and another rookie, Luis Urias, drove in the final Padres run with a sacrifice fly in the 7th inning to make it 6-0.
Behind the plate Mejia was pretty good, too. Of course the first four guys he caught are also rookies. Eric Lauer tossed 4.0 innings of shutout ball with eight strikeouts. He was pulled after 86 pitches (the Friars are working him back slowly from a disabled list stint) then Robert Stock and Jose Castillo both threw scoreless innings.
Trey Wingenter threw the 7th and gave up a pair of solo home runs. Craig Stammen and Kirby Yates finished with a shutout inning each. The Padres, who have already been eliminated from playoff contention, are trying out some of their prized prospects and so far it looks like the kids are legit.
On Friday rookie righty Brett Kennedy gets his turn against Anthony DeSclafani.