PHOENIX (AP) — Fernando Tatis Jr. mashed his first homer of the season while Joe Musgrove earned his first win on the mound.
It took a few weeks for the San Diego Padres to become whole for various reasons, but now that they’re at full strength, they feel a turnaround is just around the corner.
Tatis connected for his first regular season homer since 2021, Ha-Seong Kim had a crucial two run single and the Padres rallied for a 5-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
“We’re bouncing back together,” Tatis said. “It’s going to be a long road, but we’ve got a great team over here and we’re getting on the train track together.”
The Padres took the lead in the first inning on Tatis’ first homer since his return from an 80-game drug suspension on Thursday. The 24-year-old turned on an 0-2 fastball from Merrill Kelly, hitting it into the left-center stands, just out of the reach of a leaping Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Tatis missed all of last season, first because of a broken left wrist. When he was about to return, he was hit with his PED suspension for a positive test for the performance-enhancing substance Clostebol.
The young star is just 2 for 13 at the plate in his first three games this season, but the homer was a big step.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve done that in the big leagues,” Tatis said. “I’m glad I got it out of the way.”
The D-backs bounced back for a 3-2 lead in the third on Christian Walker’s third homer of the season. The first baseman turned on a breaking ball from Musgrove, and it landed in the D-backs’ bullpen down the left-field line.
Musgrove (1-0) made his first start of the season after starting the year on the injured list. He fractured his left big toe during spring training in a weight room accident.
Musgrove had an up-and-down outing but got through five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits. He struck out six. The Padres improved to 11-12 for the season.
“I honestly felt surprisingly calm today,” Musgrove said. “I had visualized and thought about this moment for a while. The delayed start creates some anticipation, but I felt I did a good job of managing nerves.”
The Padres rallied in the sixth, loading the bases with no outs against Kelly. D-backs manager Torey Lovullo brought Kyle Nelson in the game and the lefty struck out two straight batters before Kim hit a bouncing single through the left side, which scored two runs and put San Diego up 4-3.
Kim also had a pair of solid defensive plays at third base while filling in for Manny Machado, who got the day off because of a sore back.
“This is a game that was a little frustrating,” Lovullo said. “We did a lot of things well. The difference was some timely two-out hitting by the Padres.”
Jake Cronenworth’s RBI single in the eighth made it 5-3. Josh Hader worked the ninth for his seventh save in seven chances.
Kelly (1-3) labored through five innings, giving up four runs. He struck out seven, but walked five and threw 94 pitches.
Diamondbacks: Walker was hit by a pitch on the left forearm. The arm was wrapped after the game, but the first baseman said he expected to be fine.
Padres: Machado was dealing with back tightness. He’s had a slow start to the season, batting .221 with one homer and seven RBIs.
The teams wrap up the four-game series on Sunday afternoon. The Padres will send RHP Yu Darvish (0-2, 3.44 ERA) to the mound while the D-backs will counter with rookie RHP Drey Jameson (2-0, 2.25 ERA).
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