ARLINGTON, Texas – Wil Myers hit a first-inning grand slam and the San Diego Padres, with Fernando Tatis Jr. again leading the charge, beat the Texas Rangers 6-4 Tuesday for a two-game sweep.
Jurickson Profar added a two-run homer against his former team and five Padres relievers combined for six scoreless innings to close out the victory.
Tatis fueled a 14-4 rout Monday with a grand slam and seven RBIs. His homer came on a 3-0 pitch from Juan Nicasio in the eighth inning, rankling Texas manager Chris Woodward and the Rangers over what they perceived as breaking one of baseball’s unwritten rules. Rookie Ian Gibaut relieved after the slam and his first pitch was a fastball behind Manny Machado.
Gibaut was suspended three games by Major League Baseball and appealed the penalty, keeping him eligible. Woodward was suspended one game and sat out, with bench coach Don Wakamatsu running the team.
In a statement from the Rangers, Woodward said, “I respect that decision by MLB and I will move on and prepare for our series in San Diego.”
Tatis singled and scored on Myers’ slam. Profar homered in the fourth to make it 6-0.
Tatis singled with two outs in the fourth and Machado walked, finishing starter Mike Minor. Gibaut relieved and Tatis promptly took off, trying to steal third base.
Texas third baseman Todd Frazier, playing well off the bag in a shift against lefty-swinging Eric Hosmer, thought he’d made the tag on Tatis’ lower right leg and trotted to the dugout while umpire Nestor Ceja signaled safe. The Rangers challenged, but the call stood.
The 21-year-old Tatis stole his sixth base of the season, tying for the major league lead. He began the day topping the majors with 11 homers and 28 RBIs.
Myers hit a two-out, 2-2 changeup to left-center into the visitors’ bullpen after Minor (0-4) nearly escaped after allowing the game’s first three batters to reach on singles. Profar homered down the left field line into the second deck.
Myers said there was extra motivation to win given Monday night’s events.
“When those situations happen, you want to put it behind you and come back and beat them on the field,” Myers said.
Four of Texas’ five hits off seven Padres pitchers came in the fourth inning, including Joey Gallo’s three-run homer.
Rookie left-hander Adrian Morejon, activated from the team’s alternate training site, opened with three hitless innings in his first appearance of the season.
Craig Stammen (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings. Cal Quantrill got the final out, leaving inherited runners at first and second, for his first big league save.
Texas has lost three straight with its starters hammered early. In the first three innings of the losses, the Rangers were outscored 16-2.
Minor, a first-time All-Star last season, said he hasn’t been able to identify the source of his struggles.
“It’s one of those things where the harder I try or the more that I look at it, I feel like it’s messing with my head a little bit,” he said.
OUT OF POSITION, OUT OF THIS WORLD
Machado, the Padres’ third baseman, made a catch running into the right field corner with his back to the plate along the foul line on a towering popup by Gallo in the second inning. Machado was positioned on the right side of the field as part of a shift.
“His hand-eye is so remarkable,” Tingler said. “And to be able to catch that on the run like that. That’s an extremely hard play and, in a way, he made it look relatively easy.”
“It was a lot of fun to watch,” said Myers, something of a bystander in right field. “It was his ball all the way. It was one of the better plays I’ve seen. He’s a magician with that glove.”
Padres: To make room for Morejon, the Padres optioned RHP Luis Perdomo to their alternate training site.
Rangers: Nicasio was put on the restricted list for personal reasons and removed him from the 40-man roster and selected the contract of RHP Luis García from their alternate training site.
The teams will reconvene in San Diego for another two-game set beginning Wednesday night. Padres RHP Chris Paddack (2-2, 4.91) allowed five home runs in his previous two starts over 8 2/3 innings. Rangers RHP Lance Lynn (3-0, 1.11) leads the majors in ERA and comes off his first complete game since 2014.
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