Rookie catcher Francisco Mejia became the first Padre to homer in the first two at-bats of his first start for the team as visiting San Diego defeated the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 on Thursday night at Great American Ball Park.
Padres pitchers Eric Lauer, Robert Stock and Jose Castillo (2-2) held Cincinnati scoreless on three hits over the first six innings.
Mejia hit a solo home run leading off the third and a three-run blast off Reds starter Luis Castillo with two out in the fourth to give him four RBIs. Hunter Renfroe also homered off Luis Castillo earlier in the fourth.
Mejia, 22, who was acquired by the Padres from Cleveland on July 19 in exchange for relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber, was recalled from Triple-A El Paso on Tuesday.
The switch-hitting Mejia’s first major league homer was a 395-foot drive into the seats in left-center to give the Padres a 1-0 lead.
Renfroe made it 2-0 in the fourth with his 20th homer. Eric Hosmer followed with a single, and Wil Myers reached on an error by shortstop Jose Peraza before Mejia pulled a Luis Castillo pitch 387 feet deep into the right field stands to make it 5-0.
San Diego generated a sixth run in the top of the seventh off reliever Matt Wisler. Freddy Galvis drew a walk to open the inning and moved to second on a single by Manuel Margot. Travis Jankowski advanced both runners on a sacrifice bunt, and Galvis scored on a sacrifice fly by rookie Luis Urias.
The Reds scored twice in the bottom of the seventh on solo homers by Scott Schebler and pinch hitter Mason Williams.
Lauer started for the Padres and allowed no runs on two hits and three walks with a career-high-tying eight strikeouts in four innings. He worked his way out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth when he had back-to-back, full-count strikeouts of Phillip Ervin and Schebler ahead of a run-saving diving catch by left fielder Renfroe to end the inning.
Luis Castillo (8-12) allowed five runs (two earned) on five hits with seven strikeouts in five innings to take the loss.
Peraza had three of the Reds’ five hits. Mejia and Myers each had two hits for the Padres.
—Field Level Media