Friday afternoon, Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. declined an invitation to participate in the Home Run Derby during the All-Star festivities in Denver next month.
He decided to hold his own HR derby on Friday night at Petco Park instead.
Tatis hit three home runs in an 11-5 Padres win over the Diamondbacks. He has 25 dingers this year, tying Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the Major League lead (he's three ahead of Kyle Schwarber for the National League lead).
San Diego had the lead after one batter. Tommy Pham led off with a home run for the 3rd time this month. The Friar Faithful didn't even have a chance to sit down before Tatis gave them another jolt.
El Nino ripped a solo homer to left-center off Diamondbacks starter Corbin Martin, who gave up four runs and only recorded one out before getting pulled. Reliever Riley Smith wasn't much better.
In the 2nd inning Tatis pulled another one over the left field wall, also a solo shot, and he would be part of another back-to-back home run pairing when Jake Cronenworth went deep right behind him. It's the 4th straight game Cronenworth has hit a homer and the Padres needed all those runs because Chris Paddack was not good.
Paddack coughed up five runs in 2.1 innings before getting the hook. The good news is the Padres bullpen was as stout as it's been all year. Six relievers combined for 6.2 innings of shutout ball.
Meanwhile, Tatis was still crushing. With Pham on first base, Bebo got Smith again, hitting a laser over the right-centerfield wall for his 3rd dinger of the game and an 8-5 Padres lead. Only 18 times in MLB history has a player hit four homers in a game.
Tatis might do it some day, but this was not that day. He singled and grounded out in his next two at-bats but his early work was more than enough for the Padres to win their 8th straight game. They're still undefeated at home since Petco Park was opened to full capacity.
San Diego tries to make it nine straight on Saturday night behind Dinelson Lamet.
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