Monday, June 24, 2024

Padres sweep Giants in Mexico City series

The San Diego Padres swept the San Francisco Giants aside in a two-game Mexico City series.

Held in the high altitude of the Mexican capital – almost 2,250 meters above sea level – the Padres ran wild, taking the opening game in a 16–11 extravaganza as the teams hit a total of 11 home runs between them — with back-to-back homers for both the Padres and the Giants.

Fernando Tatis and Mexican fans
The Alfredo Harp Helú stadium saw almost 20,000 fans pack in to witness Major League Baseball in the capital. Here, Fernando Tatis Jr. takes a selfie with the crowd. (San Diego Padres)

Despite a slow start to the 2023 season, the Padres turned on the class in Mexico City as they celebrated in front of the almost 20,000-strong crowd, who created a carnival atmosphere as Major League Baseball lit up the Alfredo Harp Helú stadium for the first time. 

“For moments, it felt like more than just a game; it felt more like a parade,” Padres manager Bob Melvin told ESPN. Both teams wore special jerseys to commemorate the opening game of the series. San Francisco’s jerseys had “Los Gigantes” emblazoned on them. 

Even team celebrations had a Mexican flair, with Padres batters celebrating every home run in a traditional mariachi sombrero. They also broke open a giant Buzz Lightyear piñata to celebrate their victory. 

The Giants’ Brandon Crawford hit a 482-foot home run — the longest by a Giants player in the post-2015 Statcast era. Meanwhile, during Saturday night’s slugfest, the Padres’ 42-year-old Nelson Cruz became the oldest player in franchise history to hit a home run.

SF Giants Mexico kit
The Giants also unveiled a special Mexican jersey, emblazoned with the word “Gigantes.” (San Francisco Giants)

While Sunday’s game was a slightly calmer affair, at 6-4, the Padres fought back from four runs down to seize the initiative in the 8th inning thanks to a two-run double by Padres first baseman Matt Carpenter, who hit a fly ball into center field that eluded Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski — who suffered a pulled hamstring after making a heroic sprint infield and a final dive to reach it but ultimately saw the ball pop out of his glove.

Victory in Mexico means the Padres return to San Diego with a Standard score of .511.With reporting by MLB, Yahoo!Sports and ESPN

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