Jason Castro had never been traded before, so the 33-year-old catcher was surprised when he got called back from the Los Angeles Angels' bullpen last weekend with news of his impending move to San Diego.
In an even stranger development, Castro was back at the Big A just a few days later to face the Angels in brown.
He promptly came up with the big hit that started an avalanche of runs for the Padres, who have much bigger plans for this season than his old team did.
Castro hit a tiebreaking two-run double and the Padres rallied for eight runs in the eighth inning of an 11-4 victory over the Angels on Wednesday night.
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Castro's two-out drive to the gap off Ty Buttrey (1-2) made for a memorable debut with the Padres, who added him as part of their all-in trade bonanza.
“It almost felt like spring training, seeing those guys again,” Castro said. “Just trying to learn on the run and do as best you can. ... That’s another great group over there. They’ve got a really great bunch of guys. It was tough to leave, but I’m excited about it.”
Fernando Tatís Jr. then drew a bases-loaded walk, Manny Machado delivered a two-run single and Eric Hosmer hit a 443-foot, three-run homer as the Padres piled on against the Angels' hapless bullpen to open this interleague series up the I-5 freeway.
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Jurickson Profar hit a two-run homer and drove in three early runs for San Diego, which has won three straight by a combined 30-6.
“Just love how the offense keeps grinding away," manager Jayce Tingler said. “Thought we were on base most of the night, and then finally got some big blows in the eighth to blow it open. It’s the mark of a difference-making offense when we can continue to pass the baton all the way through.”
Mike Trout hit a two-run homer for the Angels, but the Padres won the first on-field meeting between the three-time AL MVP and the 21-year-old Tatís, who might be baseball’s next star of Trout's magnitude.
Albert Pujols had an RBI double for the Angels, who have lost three straight in their hugely disappointing season.
“It was a really good game up to two outs in the eighth inning,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s crazy how it concluded.”
The Padres are steaming toward their first playoff berth since 2006, and their reconfigured roster is taking shape after general manager AJ Preller's flurry of deadline deals.
While Castro's 1-for-4 performance was highlighted by his huge hit, right fielder Greg Allen drew two walks in his Padres debut. The San Diego native was acquired from Cleveland along with hard-throwing right-hander Mike Clevinger, who will make his debut start Thursday in Anaheim.
Mitch Moreland had two hits in his second game as San Diego's designated hitter. Relief pitcher Dan Altavilla was activated Wednesday to join San Diego's revamped bullpen, which now includes Trevor Rosenthal.
Tim Hill (2-0) got two outs in the seventh inning after Dinelson Lamet pitched five-hit ball with six strikeouts into the seventh for San Diego.
Trout's two-run shot in the third was the 298th homer of his career, putting the 29-year-old superstar just one behind Tim Salmon for the Angels' franchise record.
Profar tied it in the fourth with his sixth homer of the season, and added a tying sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Justin Upton singled in the fourth and scored on the 667th career double by Pujols, who moved one behind Craig Biggio for the fifth-most in baseball history. Pujols also became the fifth player with 5,900 total bases, joining Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Willie Mays and Barry Bonds.
Julio Teherán yielded three hits and two runs, finally providing what the Angels sought when they signed him as a free agent. Teherán got a late start to summer camp after contracting coronavirus, but he's rounding into form after a few rocky appearances.
“I know we’ve only got a couple of starts left, but that’s the way I want to feel for the rest of the season,” Teherán said.
Padres: OF Wil Myers and reliever Emilio Pagán went on the injured list. Pagán has right biceps inflammation, but Tingler declined to say why Myers is out.
Angels: 2B David Fletcher was out of the lineup for the second straight game after rolling his ankle Sunday. Maddon isn't sure when Fletcher will return.
Clevinger (1-1, 3.18 ERA) makes his Padres debut in the ballpark of the franchise that drafted him in 2011 and then regrettably traded him for Vinny Pestano in 2014. The Angels send out Andrew Heaney (2-2, 4.62 ERA), who will look to build on 7 2/3 strong innings last week against Seattle.
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