The rookie reliever struck a stunning grand slam against Washington ace Max Scherzer and his hometown of San Diego Padres overcame an eight-point deficit, eventually beating the Nationals 9-8 Thursday night in Trent Grisham’s RBI single in ninth round.
The Padres tied the biggest comeback in franchise history, helped by Fernando Tatis’ 28th home run and Grisham’s hit.
But it was Camarena’s stunt that really rocked the crowd at Petco Park.
Camarena, who attended Cathedral Catholic High, was called up earlier today for his second stint with the Padres. He replaced Yu Darvish in the fourth inning after the All-Star’s left hip tightened, and allowed Trea Turner’s second home run of the game, a two-run drive that gave the Nationals a lead. of 8-0.
With the bullpen imposed in recent days, manager Jayce Tingler beat Camarena for himself against struggling Scherzer with bases loaded and two strikeouts in the fourth. The southpaw played a fast 1-2 ball deep into the right field stands to send the fans into a frenzy and draw the Padres to 8-6.
Camarena said he was just trying to put the ball in play, “especially against Max like it’s hard to do so I was just trying with whatever I had to put the ball in play.”
He was as stunned as everyone in the stadium
“Oh my God, I passed out,” he said. “I hit first base and then all of a sudden I noticed the lights were flashing in the stadium and that’s when it hit, like, Oh my god I just hit a home run. Not just that, a grand slam. “
Camarena had struck in his only previous game in the big leagues on his debut earlier this season. In the minors, he was 5 for 28 (0.179) with no additional hits and zero RBI. His Triple-A teammate Gosuke Katoh, who is also from San Diego, had given him a bat and batting gloves.
Camarena became the second pitcher in history whose first hit was a grand slam. The first was Bill Duggleby of the Philadelphia Phillies on April 21, 1898.
Camarena, 28, was the first relief pitcher to hit a grand slam since Pittsburgh’s Don Robinson on September 12, 1985, and was the first Padres player, pitcher or positional player to win a grand slam for his first stroke. sure. The last majors player to do so was Brandon Crawford of San Francisco on May 27, 2011 in Milwaukee.
“I think most of all, everyone was in shock,” Grisham said of the slam. “Shock and excitement. We had four runs on the board and we were back. “
It was the first home run Scherzer gave to a pitcher in a 14-year career that includes three Cy Young Awards and seven All-Star selections. It was the fourth time he has given up a grand slam – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., of Toronto, also hit him a slam this year.
Tommy Pham started the Padres ninth with a starting single against Sam Clay (0-2), advanced on back-to-back strikeouts and scored when Grisham scored on the right.
Tatis, voted to start shortstop in the All-Star Game, scored and stole one base, making him the youngest player in baseball history to have 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases before the break. Tatis has 28 home runs and 20 interceptions. His 28 home runs are the highest ever by a shortstop before the break.
The Nationals chased Darvish after three innings and gave Scherzer an 8-0 lead after four before the 36-year-old right-hander allowed seven runs in the fourth.
Pham hit a single to chase Scherzer and Tatis hit a single RBI bloop against Kyle Finnegan to get closer to 8-7.
Tatis opened the fourth with a drive through the second bridge in left field. With one out, Scherzer hit Manny Machado with a pitch, gave Grisham a single and hit Eric Hosmer with a pitch to charge the goals. Wil Myers worked a walk to bring a run before Scherzer knocked out Victor Caratini. Camarena then connected.
The Padres have five Grand Slam tournaments this season. Their 12 slams since the start of the 2020 season are the most of any baseball team. The Padres popularized “Slam Diego” last year when they became the first team in history to win four slams in as many games and five in six games.
“Down 8-0 against Max Scherzer, our ace coming out of the game, we get a grand slam from a pitcher who was just called up today, probably at the top,” Tingler said. “It’s special and that’s why I’m convinced we’re going to do special things, just because of the way we fight. We don’t lie down, we just keep going. “
The Padres tied at 8 on double Pham’s two strikeouts in the sixth.
Turner hit a home run in the first and a single in the third, and scored twice against Darvish.
All-Star Mark Melancon (2-1) pitched the ninth for the win.
Scherzer allowed seven runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings, struck out seven and walked one.
Darvish allowed six runs and eight hits in three innings, struck out two and walked none.