Rookie catcher Francisco Mejia hit a walk-off grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth Sunday afternoon, giving the San Diego Padres a come-from-behind, 7-3 win over the visiting Texas Rangers at Petco Park.
Hitting from the right side against left-handed Rangers reliever Jeffrey Springs, the switch-hitting Mejia drove the first pitch 386 feet into the left field stands. It was Mejia’s third homer since being promoted by the Padres from Triple-A El Paso on Sept. 4.
The first walk-off hit of the 22-year-old’s career capped a five-run San Diego ninth.
The Padres entered the inning trailing 3-2 after reliever Kirby Yates (5-3) worked his way out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the tumultuous top of the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Franmil Reyes singled with one out, and pinch runner Travis Jankowski scored on a double by Freddy Galvis to tie the game. After Manuel Margot flied out, pinch hitter A.J. Ellis and Cory Spangenberg drew walks from Springs (0-1) to lead the base for Mejia.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Robinson Chirinos was awarded first on a hit by pitch after two umpire reviews of a play where the ball apparently hit the catcher’s bat and rolled fair for what would have been the second out. Padres manager Andy Green was ejected for the fourth time this season and the ninth time in his career.
The game’s first three runs came on solo homers.
Hunter Renfroe gave the Padres’ a 1-0 lead with a high drive off Mike Minor that landed just beyond the leap of left fielder Willie Calhoun with two outs in the bottom of the first. It was Renfroe’s team-leading 23rd homer of the season and 15th since Aug. 5.
Calhoun tied the game with a 412-foot drive deep into the right field stands off Padres starter Jacob Nix with one out in the bottom of the second.
Jurickson Profar gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with a 399-foot homer off Nix leading off the third. Calhoun’s homer was his second of the season while Profar hit his 18th.
Minor gave up two runs on four hits and a walk and a walk with seven strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. Nix gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts in six innings.
Chirinos singled home Ronald Guzman to make it 3-1 in the sixth. Margot tripled home Galvis in the bottom of the seventh to cut the deficit in half.
—Field Level Media