Juan Soto’s first game for the Padres couldn’t have been better

Juan Soto’s first game for the Padres couldn’t have been better

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SAN DIEGO – The sold-out crowd cheered Juan Soto in his first game against the San Diego Padres. Brandon Drury hit a big hit in his first pitch with his new team.

Feeding off the energy of Soto and the crowd, the new-look Padres electrified the Colorado Rockies 9-1 on Wednesday night at Petco Park.

Even before the game started, the crowd of 44,652 was animated and gave Soto a warm ovation when he ran to right field in the first inning and then came to the plate in the bottom of the game. He drew a walk to start a five-run rally that was followed by a grand slam by Drury.

“I feel great. It’s brought up a lot of emotions for me,” said Soto, 23, whose blockbuster trade with Washington for Josh Bell caused a stir for both the team and the city. “It’s amazing how they encourage me. They gave us the energy to go out there and play hard.”

Before the game, Soto Bell, one of the game’s best young players, said he was happy to be included in the trade. The two traveled to San Diego on a private jet Tuesday evening.

“For me, I never knew I was going to trade together. Maybe I was just thinking to myself,” Soto said. “When I found out I was coming with Josh, we have a great relationship and I was more excited and more motivated because he was coming and I knew what kind of person he is and what he brings to the table. I’m excited to share another clubhouse with him.

Manny Machado, who has carried the Padres for most of the season, led off the fifth with a triple in San Diego’s fifth straight win. Jake Kronenwerth had two runs scored. The biggest beneficiary was left-hander Blake Snell (4-5), who struck out nine in six innings and won his third start.

The Padres unveiled their new-look lineup with Soto batting second and Bell hitting Tuesday, a day before a major deadline deal. Drury arrived from Cincinnati on Tuesday and already has a festive atmosphere, making a case for beating Chad Kuhl.

Soto walked, Machado doubled and Bell walked to load the bases before Kronenworth was hit by a pitch to bring in Soto. Then Drury drove the first buzzer saw from Kuhl into the seats in left-center and the fans converted. It was his second career grand slam and 21st homer of the season.

Juan Soto hits a single as the Padres beat the Rockies 9-1.
Juan Soto hits a single as the Padres beat the Rockies 9-1.
America Today Sports

“I was running on adrenaline,” Drury said. “The fans were amazing tonight. First at-bat, bases loaded, I was just running on pure adrenaline. I am very happy to be here. It was special to me. “

Drury said he came out to stretch 25 minutes before the game and “the fans were just going away.” I was out there warming up and just pumped up, ready to go. It was indeed an amazing day. “

In a pregame hitters’ meeting, Melvin told the players, “It’s going to happen. Indeed, the whole year has passed. When you bring men like that, it takes it to another level. We just want to let you know that this is going to be great.

Juan Soto shares a laugh with new teammate Nomar Mazzara during the Padres' win.
Juan Soto shares a laugh with new teammate Nomar Mazzara during the Padres’ win.
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“Before we took the field, even before the game started, the place seemed packed,” Melvin said. It was rare.”

Soto singled, walked two, scored one and struck out twice. Bell had two walks and scored twice.

“He seems to bring some energy,” Melvin Soto said. You see him backing up first base on ground balls; He just brings so much to the table. It is clear what the bat does. The fans seemed to embrace it very quickly. He’s one of the most energetic guys around and I think everybody felt that today.

Soto is under contract for two seasons after this year and says he’s not thinking about anything beyond that.

“I’m thinking about winning,” he said before the game. “I came to this clubhouse to bring all the energy I have, all the good vibes I have to bring here and win.”

As for Snell, he had his third straight strong start. He held the Rockies to one run and four hits in six innings, no walks. His four wins this season have come in his last five starts. After receiving just 15 assists in his first 11 starts, he has 19 assists over his last two starts.

Kuhl (6-7) allowed nine runs and eight hits in five innings, striking out four and walking three.

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