Fernando Tatis Jr. took over the home run lead in the major leagues Monday, hitting two in the San Diego Padres’ 14-4 drubbing of the Texas Rangers.
The Padres already held a 7-3 advantage when Tatis, held in check for the evening, got to work in the seventh inning.
He hit a three-run bomb, then topped himself one inning later with a grand slam. It was his first as a big leaguer, bringing his total for the season to 11.
With the Padres already enjoying a commanding 10-3 lead, Tatis irritated the Rangers, and his manager, Jayce Tingler, according to the Associated Press.
The Rangers expressed their displeasure by throwing at the next batter, Manny Machado. Tingler later noted to the AP that the Padres weren’t “trying to run up the score.”
“I’ve been in this game since I was a kid,” Tatis explained to the AP. “I know a lot of unwritten rules. I was kind of lost on this. Those experiences, you have to learn. Probably next time, I’ll take a pitch.”
Tatis had been tied with Los Angeles Angel Mike Trout, who took the home run lead earlier in the evening in San Francisco. He hit his 10th of the season. Then Tatis countered with his own to surge ahead.
Austin Hedges also had a solo shot in the fourth as the Padres ended a five-game losing streak.
The Padres have one more game on the road, with Adrian Morejon taking the mound against Ranger Mike Minor at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday.
Chris Paddack faces Ranger Lance Lynn Wednesday when the same teams turn around for two contests at Petco Park. Dinelson Lamet follows on Thursday against Kyle Gibson.
Meanwhile, the team continues to contend with a rash of injuries, according to MLB.com. Outfielder Tommy Pham will miss up to six weeks with a broken hand, joining catcher Francisco Mejia, (bruised thumb) on the injured list. In addition, the team sidelined closer Kirby Yates, suffering from elbow trouble.
– Staff reports