Tatis’ homer lifts Padres over stumbling Braves in completion of suspended game
Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 25, 2021
By BERNIE WILSON
AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Fernando Tatis Jr. homered leading off the top of the seventh inning and the staggering San Diego Padres beat the NL East-leading Braves 6-5 Friday night in the resumption of a game that was suspended due to rain in Atlanta on July 21.
The Braves’ lead over the Phillies fell to one game after Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh 8-6.
The Padres, meanwhile, are plummeting toward the biggest collapse in franchise history. San Diego started the day six games behind St. Louis for the second wild card while also trailing Philadelphia and Cincinnati. They had a one-game lead for the second wild card on Sept. 9.
The teams were to play the regularly scheduled opener of a three-game series shortly after the conclusion of the suspended game.
The Padres, wearing their home white uniforms, were the visiting team in their own ballpark. After a rare San Diego rain delay, Tatis’ 41st homer, off Will Smith, regained the lead for the Padres after Braves pinch-hitter Adam Duvall tied it with a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the sixth.
“You always feel good with Tatis at the plate,” manager Jayce Tingler said. “That was just a great at-bat. He was on some pitches, laid off some tough pitches, got it to 3-2 and to be able to drive the ball a touch right of center, impressive, but we’ve seen him to it. Huge at-bat.”
Daniel Hudson (5-2) got the win and Mark Melancon pitched the seventh for his 38th save. Hudson wasn’t with the Braves when the July 21 game began. Smith (3-9) took the loss.
On July 21, the Padres won the first game of a split doubleheader and were leading the second game 5-4 in the fifth inning when it was suspended after a delay of 3 hours, 3 minutes. Since it was at the end of a series, it was rescheduled for Friday.
The teams still couldn’t escape bad weather. A rare storm that brought rain, lightning and thunder to San Diego prompted a delay of 1 hour, 5 minutes.
“It is confirmed, we have a tarp. So that’s good to know,” Tingler said. “It felt like for a moment this game’s not supposed to happen or whatever, when it starts to rain in San Diego. But we got word that the storm was kind of moving out. We knew we were going to play, we just didn’t know how much it was going to get pushed back.”
After a short break, the teams were to play the regularly scheduled game, with former Padres farmhand Max Fried scheduled to start against rookie Reiss Knehr, who was added to the roster as the club’s 29th man even though it technically wasn’t a doubleheader.
Knehr was the starter in the game that was suspended.
The Braves’ batterymates from that suspended game are no longer on the active roster. Starter Bryse Wilson was traded to Pittsburgh on July 30 and catcher Stephen Vogt is on the injured list.
On Wednesday night in Phoenix, Duvall hit what appeared to be his 38th homer, over Arizona center fielder Jake McCarthy’s leap at the wall. But Austin Riley, thinking McCarthy had the ball in his glove, retreated to first base as Duvall passed him between first and second. Duvall was ruled out at second on what’s known as a “runner’s fielder’s choice.” Freddie Freeman and Riley scored on the play. The Braves won 9-2.
On July 21, the Padres took a quick 5-0 lead against Wilson in the second game of a split doubleheader. Eric Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly, Tatis scored on a wild pitch and rookie Kim Ha-seong hit a two-run double. Jake Cronenworth hit an RBI single in the second.
The Braves trimmed the lead to 5-4 in the second on Guillermo Heredia’s RBI double, Orlando Arcia’s sacrifice fly, Ehire Adrianza’s pinch-hit RBI double and Joc Pederson’s RBI single.
Knehr was chased after allowing three runs, one hit and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Wilson didn’t last much longer, giving up five runs, four hits and four walks in two innings.
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