Fernando Tatis Jr. HR leads Padres back from 8 run deficit

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By journalsofus.com

SAN DIEGO – Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a two-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning – two innings after the Padres had scored seven runs – and San Diego beat the Chicago Cubs 9-8 on Monday night.

On the 20th anniversary of the first Padres game at Petco Park, Tatis celebrated the moment he overcame an 8-0 deficit. When he saw the ball go into the left field seats, he held his bat with his left hand, turned it over, yelled and pumped his fists, beginning his walk. He was wearing custom cleats in honor of the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Rookie Jackson Merrill had a leadoff walk off Edbert Alzolay (1-1).

Tatis said, “It was amazing. But full credit goes to the boys.” “We were down 8-0, and we were never out of the game. We kept building, we kept batting well against tough pitches. The boys started performing. We started moving over the line. , We kept believing in each other and that was just the final blow.”

The win tied the Padres’ largest comeback in franchise history. The other three games he won from trailing by eight runs: May 23, 1970, at the San Francisco Giants; June 10, 1974, vs. Pittsburgh Pirates; and July 8, 2021, vs. the Washington Nationals.

Meanwhile, the Cubs entered Monday having won 234 consecutive games by leading by eight or more runs. Their last such loss came on June 28, 2002, at the Chicago White Sox.

Teaming up with his branding company Xample, Tatis plans to unveil 50 pairs of custom cleats this season. Their choice for Monday night, featuring different designs on each cleat, honors Gwynn, known as Mr. Padre, who played his entire 20-season career in San Diego. Gwynn died in 2014 at the age of 54.

“Definitely the shoes,” Tatis said, laughing. “Strength from above. Always grateful. Definitely a little inspired today. I’ll keep playing with them. Hopefully, they keep sending good wishes. Just happy I got to wear those shoes today.”

As Padres manager Mike Shildt said, “That was a big homer. Impressive. Impressive guy. Really proud of him.”

Tatis homered over the wall in right field after Dansby Swanson missed a two-run triple in the fourth, giving the Cubs an 8–0 lead.

Shildt said Tatis came up to him in the dugout and said, “Man, it’s a game of inches.”

“I said, ‘Yes, sometimes things don’t work out and we have to keep fighting.’ It was when the score was 8-0,” the manager explained, “and he said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll keep fighting,’ and he patted me on the back.

Wandy Peralta (1-0) got the win and Robert Suarez got the save, his fourth.

Cubs right-hander Javier Assad, who grew up across the border in Tijuana, pitched a two-hit shutout and an 8-0 lead in the sixth before the Padres pulled within a run in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run homer . By Jake Cronenworth and Xander Bogaerts. The Padres got five hits, one walk and one error in that inning.

Assad allowed a leadoff walk to Tatis – his first of the season – to right before being followed by Cronenworth’s two-run homer. José Cuas came in for Chicago, and the next three Padres batters reached, starting with Manny Machado on an error by shortstop Swanson, allowing three runs unearned. Ha-Seong Kim hit a two-run triple and Luis Campasano hit an RBI grounder. Bogaerts capped the scoring with a two-run shot off Luke Little for his first homer of the campaign. Tatis flew out to right to end the inning.

Assad allowed two runs and three hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.

San Diego’s Yu Darvish, who pitched for the Cubs from 2018 to 2020, threw 42 pitches in the second inning, when the Cubs scored four runs on three hits, two walks and one hit batsman. Darvish loaded the bases twice, and Ian Happ and Cody Bellinger each hit two-run singles.

Darvish picked up pace in the third inning, but was finished for the night after allowing four runs and four hits, while striking out four and walking three. It was only the 10th time in 281 career starts, including the postseason, that Darvish pitched three or fewer innings.

The Cubs then jumped on Pedro Avila for four more runs in the fourth. After the Cubs loaded the bases with one out, Bellinger hit a sacrifice fly, Christopher Morrell hit an RBI double and Swanson tripled with two more outs.

ESPN Stats & Information and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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