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Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. homers in return from COVID-19-related absence

San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (C), shown April 22, 2021, missed the team's past eight games after testing positive for COVID-19 last week. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/0946ac5efaacf1f655631825ddea78a5/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (C), shown April 22, 2021, missed the team's past eight games after testing positive for COVID-19 last week. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 19 (UPI) -- San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. bashed a solo home run in his return to the lineup Wednesday following an eight-game absence after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.

Tatis had a single in his first at-bat before blasting a 415-foot homer off Colorado Rockies pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Padres a 1-0 lead.

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The Padres reinstated Tatis from the injured list before Wednesday's contest against Colorado. He had been placed on the IL on May 11 after his positive coronavirus test.

Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer, who was on the injured list because of contact tracing, also was activated prior to Wednesday's matchup. He batted fifth, right behind Tatis, against the Rockies.

All-Star outfielder Wil Myers, who also tested positive for COVID-19 last week, remains on the Padres' injured list. San Diego manager Jayce Tingler said earlier this week that he hopes Myers can return this weekend.

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Padres players Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo, who were put into the league's contact tracing protocols last week, were activated Monday.

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Entering Wednesday's game against the Rockies, the 22-year-old Tatis had a .240 batting average with nine home runs, 14 RBIs and seven stolen bases over 26 games.

The Padres posted a 7-1 record without Tatis, Hosmer and Myers in the lineup, including a weekend sweep of the National League Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals.

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