Fernando Tatis Jr. takes a swing.
Fernando Tatis Jr. Photo by Chris Stone

Fernando Tatis Jr. received the National League Player of the Month award for May, even after missing a spate of games due to COVID-19 – a bit of good news for the slumping Padres.

They ended their long road trip by getting swept in Chicago – the Cubs won 6-1 Wednesday – as they find their aches and pains stacking up.

Tatis suffered one of those injuries – the shortstop left Tuesday’s 4-3 loss with oblique tightness that nonetheless shouldn’t send him back to the injured list, according to manager Jayce Tingler.

That’s a good thing because Tatis hit .353 with nine homers and 26 RBIs, while scoring 21 runs in May. He posted those numbers in just 20 games as he missed eight while dealing with a positive COVID test.

Tatis’ sub, Ha-Seong Kim went down Wednesday too, as did outfielder Tommy Pham, after they collided and bumped heads while chasing down a shallow fly ball to left in the 4th inning

Both men stayed on the ground as trainers tended to them. Pham needed stitches to his chin, and will undergo further testing, while Kim, though dazed, did not suffer a concussion, Tingler said.

The team needed another spot of good news and found it in Dinelson Lamet, who continues to try and build strength following the arm troubles that have dogged him since late last year.

He pitched four innings Wednesday, and gave up one run while striking out six.

“That was probably the highlight for me, was how good Lamet was … He felt great. He looked strong …” Tingler said.

The team returns to open a seven-game home stand at 7:10 p.m. Thursday, as the New York Mets come to town, followed by the Cubs. Home cooking may be just what they need, as they enjoyed a perfect 9-0 home stand last month.

Yu Darvish will start against the Mets, followed by Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove. Sunday’s starter is TBD. The Mets’ two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom takes the mound Saturday against Musgrove.