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Padres win ‘homer opener’ behind Caratini, Hosmer’s late homers

What a way to welcome back a crowd.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

In front of the first full crowd of the 2021 season, the Padres were able to put on a show and pull out a narrow 6-4 victory in walk-off fashion over the Reds on Thursday night in what the team hopes is a swift ending to their recent struggles.

The Friars entered the top of the ninth up 2-0 with the sure-handed Mark Melancon taking the mound to finish the game. In a rare turn of events, Melancon let up four runs, including a two-run homer that gave Cincinnati the lead at 4-2. Pierce Johnson replaced home and managed to force the final out.

The final stanza started with Manny Machado getting walked and Wil Myers striking out for the the first. On a 2-1 count, Eric Hosmer cranked one over the right field fence to even the score at 4-4 with Jake Cronenworth on deck. Cron would lace a single into center field before Victor Caratini said “goodnight” with his own two-run deep shot to left field.

Joe Musgrove started the night and finished with just two K’s in seven hit-less innings of work. The Reds’ Wade Miley was working on his own no-hitter before Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his league-leading 22nd home run to give the team their first lead in the sixth. Machado followed with a home run just one inning later.

Game two is scheduled to begin this evening at 7:10 p.m. Chris Paddack (3-5, 4.14 ERA) and Tony Santillan (0-0, 1.93 ERA) will be on the mound.