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Padres Crush the Cardinals

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Shortstop-turned-right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr.'s catch, denying a two-run home run to pinch hitter Michael Siani, was the highlight of Sunday for the San Diego Padres.

The California team moved closer to elimination from playoff contention, despite beating the St. Louis Cardinals 12-2 in their last home game. Juan Soto also had a big day, hitting a 461-foot home run and driving in four runs.

Los Padres Continue on a Steady Pace of Victories

It was a difficult afternoon in the late September sunshine when Fernando Tatis Jr. made a spectacular catch stealing a home run that earned him a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd and the admiration of his San Diego Padres teammates.

When Siani, a left-handed batter, connected on a Michael Wacha pitch to right field in the sixth inning, Tatis stepped back. He then took a quick glance at the 8-foot wall and perfectly timed his leap to make the catch.

His left shoulder was in line with the wall when he retrieved the ball. After landing and regaining his balance, Tatis threw toward first base on a double-kill attempt against Masyn Winn.

Manny Machado, who was not in the lineup due to a right elbow injury, stood at the dugout railing, smiled and raised his right index finger in the air.

Tatis began his career as a shortstop, but moved to right field after returning April 20 from an 80-game doping suspension. He missed all of last year due to injuries and the suspension.

In the second inning, Tatis lost the ball in the sun and fell for a Richie Palacios double. In the third, he battled the sun and made a sliding catch on Lars Nootbaar's fly. He would later make his big catch.

Soto, who made three nice catches in left field, said Tatis' catch was the best he had ever seen.

Tatis, a 25-25 player despite missing the first 20 games while serving his suspension, said it would mean a lot if he won a Gold Glove.

Jose Azocar also connected on a home run for the Padres, who had nine extra-base hits in their ninth win in 10 games. Their best streak of the season probably comes too late to avoid an embarrassing slump.

The Failed Road to the Playoffs

The Padres began this season with World Series aspirations after reaching the National League Championship Series last fall, but have been a major disappointment.

The Padres have been below .500 since May 12 despite having a payroll of about $250 million, the third highest in the majors.

Xander Bogaerts connected on a double, a triple and scored twice for the Padres, who moved closer to elimination from wild-card contention after the Cubs and Diamondbacks won their respective games.

Soto connected on a three-run home run off left-hander Drew Rom in the first inning. He brought in Bogaerts, who was on base after a double at first, and Ha-Seong Kim, who reached base on a two-base error when right fielder Jordan Walker, fighting the sun, dropped the ball from both his glove and right hand before it hit the ground.

Soto added a run-scoring double in the fourth inning and came within a triple of completing the cycle. He was one of four players to score two runs.

Luis Campusano also had three hits. Eguy Rosario connected on a triple and scored on Bogaerts' triple in the second inning and then connected on a two-run double in the sixth. The Padres tied their season-high with 18 hits.

Wacha held the Cardinals to two runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out six and giving up one base on balls against his original team. His only major mistake was allowing Luken Baker's second two-run home run of the season in the seventh inning.

The Padres now face the San Francisco Giants to continue their season sweep.

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