MLB

Return of the King! Tatis Hits 2 Towering Homers, Padres Resume Quest for a Ring

Fernando Tatis Jr. returns from Injured List with a bang (Also, no regrets for this headline)

Without Fernando Tatis Jr. the Padres lost four straight games to last-place teams and got no-hit by a 27-year-old rookie making his first big league start.

With Fernando Tatis Jr. the Padres are a legitimate playoff contender.

El Nino returned from the Injured List on Sunday, playing right field in Arizona, and gave the Friars the jolt they needed with two homers, a double, and backbreaking 2-run single in the 8th inning to spark an 8-2 win. The Padres avoid being swept by the team with the worst record in baseball.

Tatis had no issues in right field (every ball hit his way was a lazy fly or a line drive down the line that merely required gathering and throwing to the infield). He definitely didn't have any trouble with the bat.

A night after the Friars couldn't muster a hit in 106 pitches, Tatis doubled on the 4th pitch of the game against Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen. He chased that with a solo homer in the 3rd inning, a solo homer in the 5th inning, and a bases loaded seed into centerfield in the 8th that, at the time, put San Diego on top 6-2.

The Friars got two more runs in the inning on a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch. Jake Cronenworth added a 2-run homer and drove in three runs.

With that kind of offensive performance the scheduled bullpen day was not a concern. Criag Stammen started and went 2.0 shutout innings. Reiss Knehr followed with 2.0 innings and one run allowed. Pierce Johnson gave up a solo homer in his one inning of work then Tim Hill, Daniel Hudson, Emilio Pagan and Austin Adams all tossed a single shutout frame.

The Padres start a 3-game set in Colorado on Monday night but they'll do it without Yu Darvish. The Opening Day starter was placed on the 10-day Injured List with the lower back tightness that's plagued him since early July.

LISTEN: With NBC 7 San Diego's Darnay Tripp and Derek Togerson behind the mic, On Friar will cover all things San Diego Padres. Interviews, analysis, behind the scenes...the ups, downs, and everything in between. Tap here to find On Friar wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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