SAN DIEGO — Welcome to Slam Diego.
Baseball has never seen a power display like the one put on by the San Diego Padres, who hit their fifth grand slam in six games — this time by rookie Jake Cronenworth — to go with Trent Grisham‘s three home runs Saturday in a 13-2 rout of the Houston Astros.
The Padres have added mannequins wearing team gear to the home run deck in right field, and Cronenworth’s shot in the second inning landed near one wearing a No. 4 Slam Diego jersey.
Cronenworth said it was that much more impressive that he is the fifth Padres player to hit a grand slam this week. San Diego has won six games in a row.
“It’s somebody different every single night stepping up,” he said. “Grish has three home runs tonight, Manny [Machado] hit a home run tonight, Wil [Myers] hit a home run tonight, Zach Davies had an incredible outing. It started with him shutting their offense down and getting us back in the dugout as quick as possible.”
Cronenworth drove a 3-1 pitch from Humberto Castellanos into the home run deck in right field to give the Padres an 11-1 lead. It was San Diego’s third home run of the inning.
“Put a good swing on a good pitch,” Cronenworth said. “Just keep my approach up the middle. Just happened to put a good swing on it.”
Cronenworth, obtained along with outfielder Tommy Pham in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay, became the 20th Padres rookie to hit a grand slam. It was his third homer of the year, and he had his first three-hit game.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler said it was “impressive but not a shock” that Cronenworth hit a grand slam.
“He continues to hang good at-bats every night. For him to be able to get a pitch there and to get it out of the ballpark there was not a surprise because he’s been having tremendous at-bats. It’s good to see him get rewarded,” Tingler said.
Earlier in the week, the Padres became the first team in history to hit grand slams in four straight games during a sweep of the Texas Rangers in a home-and-home series.
That onslaught started with Fernando Tatis Jr.’s slam Monday on a 3-0 count with a seven-run lead, reigniting a debate about etiquette and baseball’s so-called “unwritten rules.” Myers hit a slam on Tuesday, Machado hit a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning Wednesday, and Eric Hosmer capped the run with a historic shot on Thursday.
Hosmer batted with the bases loaded Friday but grounded out.
On Saturday, Myers opened the second inning with a home run, and Grisham hit a three-run shot with one out — with Cronenworth aboard on a single. Tatis was hit by a pitch from rookie Brandon Bielak (3-1), who made way for Castellanos. Both teams were warned by the umpires, and Houston’s Martin Maldonado was ejected from the dugout.
Grisham also hit a leadoff shot, and Machado had a solo shot with one out in the first.
The six homers tied the Padres’ home record set Aug. 9 against Arizona.
Grisham recently moved into the leadoff spot.
“Obviously, tonight he was really good at the plate,” Tingler said. “Probably the most impressive was the last one, being able to go opposite field. The ball just exploded off his bat. It was kind of a no-doubter.”