Tatis Jr. leads the way as Padres take down Athletics, 8-3

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
Seth Lugo got back on track as the offense took care of the rest to grab a nice win on Roberto Clemente Day.

Fresh off of a series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Padres jumped into a series with an Oakland Athletics team that has had quite the down year. Seth Lugo took the mound looking to bounce back following a tough previous start against the Houston Astros. He pitched a solid game for San Diego, as the Athletics put up limited numbers on the day. Lugo’s start helped the team gain an early lead and stay in front for the entirety of the contest. The bullpen would then take care of the rest as the Padres strolled to an 8-3 win in game 1 of the series.

Here are three takeaways from the victory:

Fernando Tatis Jr. has nice day to boost the lineup

Despite a .217 average so far in the month of September, Fernando Tatis Jr. was able to provide a nice burst for the offense and help lead the team to victory. He immediately helped the Padres get on the board with a solo home run in the top of the first inning.

Another big hit in the next inning, a single to right-center with the bases loaded, scored 2 more runs and put the team up 4-0 early. On the day, he finished 2-3 (2 BB) and reached base 4 times total. Tatis Jr. also added on his 26th stolen base of the year in his effort to try and finish the season as a member of the 30-30 club. He would only need 5 home runs and 4 stolen bases to get there, and with 14 games to play in the season, the feat is definitely not out of the question.

Lugo bounces back with nice performance

A start against the last-place Oakland Athletics was just what the doctor ordered for Seth Lugo as he looked to improve upon his last start against the Astros in which he allowed 6 runs in a loss. Lugo made sure to take advantage of the situation, as he ended up getting the Padres through the first 6 innings while allowing 3 ER. His 7 strikeouts helped along the way as he earned win number 7 to break back even at 7-7 on the year.

Lugo has been a solid piece in the rotation all season that has remained healthy for the majority of 2023 and eaten up innings nicely. The right-hander has allowed 4 ER or more in just 5 of his 24 starts this year, proving himself as someone who can keep the Padres afloat in close games and contribute to a winning team. Despite the squad’s struggles this year, Lugo has been a positive piece in the rotation that San Diego will lean on once again next season to deliver.

Jose Azocar hits first MLB home run

With the Padres up 5-3 in the top of the ninth inning and looking for some insurance, Jose Azocar was the man to deliver. The man nicknamed “Sugar” provided himself with a sweet moment, as he blasted his first big-league home run into left field to put the team up 8-3.

The rest of the team waited anxiously in the dugout to congratulate him as he made his way happily around the bases. Azocar has had himself a respectable season thus far, as he’s hitting .269 over 44 appearances this season. Despite the limited action, he has certainly shown promise as a player who performs with a lot of effort and wants to see the team win. The home run comes as a big milestone for him, which will perhaps have some extra meaning as it came on Roberto Clemente Day. Teams across the league celebrated by wearing the number 21 across their chests to honor his great achievements in life on and off the field. Clemente is often regarded as one of the most selfless individuals in the history of the game and is well-respected by all across the league.

The Padres will look to grab a second consecutive win as the series continues tomorrow afternoon with the struggling Matt Waldron getting the start against Oakland righty Mason Miller.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 p.m. PT.