SAN DIEGO (AP) — Juan Soto got multiple ovations in his first game with the Padres and Brandon Drury did even better, hitting a grand slam on the first pitch he saw with his new team to lead San Diego to a 9-1 victory against the Colorado Rockies on an electric Wednesday night at Petco Park.
The Padres unveiled their new-look lineup with Soto batting second and Josh Bell hitting cleanup a day after they were obtained from Washington in one of the biggest deadline deals ever. Drury was also obtained on Tuesday, from Cincinnati, and put a charge into the already festive atmosphere with a grand slam off Chad Kuhl with one out in the first.
Manny Machado, who has carried the Padres most of the season, homered leading off the fifth and finished a triple short of the cycle in San Diego’s fifth straight win. Jake Cronenworth had a two-run shot. The big beneficiary was left-hander Blake Snell (4-5), who struck out nine in six innings and won his third straight start.
The big attraction was Soto, the 23-year-old generational talent whose acquisition gave a jolt to both the team and the city. The sellout crowd of 44,652 gave Soto, a two-time All-Star and a former World Series champion, a standing ovation when he ran out to his position in right field in the first inning. The fans rose and cheered again when he came to bat with one out in the bottom of the inning and drew a walk.
Machado doubled and Bell walked to load the bases before Cronenworth was hit by a pitch to bring in Soto. Drury then drove the first pitch he saw from Kuhl into the seats in left-center and the fans went nuts. It was his second career grand slam and 21st homer this season.
Soto singled, walked twice, scored once and grounded out twice. Bell had two walks and scored twice.
Snell had a third straight strong start. He held the Rockies to one run and four hits in six innings, with no walks. His four wins this season have come in his last five starts. After receiving just 15 runs of support in his first 11 starts, he has received 19 runs of support in his last two starts.
Kuhl (6-7) allowed nine runs and eight hits in five innings, struck out four and walked three.
Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (6-7, 4.63 ERA) and Padres RHP Joe Musgrove (8-4, 2.65) are scheduled to start Thursday afternoon when San Diego goes for a five-game sweep.
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