By Alberto Garcia
The San Diego Padres won their season opener 8 to 7 against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first game with fans – although limited- since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year.
Seating was limited to no more than 10,000 out of Petco Park’s 42,691 seats but the crowd still erupted when first baseman Eric Hosmer hit the season’s first home run in the third inning of the game. Hosmer had three hits and drove in three runs.
The Padres’ newest-signed superstar and last season’s breakout star, Fernando Tatis, Jr., excited the crowd when he dove back to first base to avoid a tag by first baseman Christian Walker on pick-attempt by Arizona’s catcher. Tatis avoided the tag with both arms and was ruled safe. The Diamondbacks challenged the call but was reaffirmed after a replay review.
The Diamondbacks scored four home runs in the fifth inning.
San Diego’s two most expensive and high-profile players, Manny Machado and Tatis, did little during the first game of the season. Machado was hitless in the game, and Tatis had one hit and struck out three times.
Third baseman Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million in 2019 and Tatis signed a 14-year, $340 million deal during the off-season that could keep the 22-year old shortstop in San Diego for his entire career.
Hopes are high for this season after the Padres broke a 13-year playoff drought during last year’s abbreviated season with no fans in the stands.
The Padres and Diamondbacks will play again tomorrow.