Padres pitcher Daniel Camarena hits grand slam for first career hit

July 9 (UPI) -- Relief pitcher Daniel Camarena provided an unexpected power surge to spark a San Diego Padres walk-off victory, smacking a grand slam off Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer for his first career hit.

Camarena's home run came in the bottom of the fourth inning of the 9-8 win Thursday at Petco Park in San Diego.


"In that at-bat, [I was] just trying to put the ball in play in that situation," Camarena told reporters. "Especially against Max, that's hard to do.

"I was just trying with everything that I had just to put a ball in play."

The Padres trailed 8-0 entering the half inning. Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. homered off Scherzer in the first at-bat of the frame.

Scherzer then struck out Jake Cronenworth. He hit Manny Machado with a pitch in the next exchange. Scherzer then allowed a Trent Grisham single and hit Eric Hosmer with another pitch to load the bases.


Scherzer issued a walk to Padres right fielder Wil Myers to bring Machado in from third and make the score 8-2. He struck out Victor Caratini in the next at-bat, which brought Camarena to the plate with two outs.

Scherzer jumped ahead 0-2 in the count, but threw his next pitch in the dirt. He tossed a 96.5-mph fastball for his final pitch of the exchange. The four seamer sailed low out of the zone, but Camarena dropped his bat and smacked the pitch to right field for a 416-foot grand slam.

Camarena's blast cut the Nationals lead to two runs. Tommy Pham doubled in the next at-bat. He came around to score the final run of the inning on a Tatis double. Pham tied the score with another RBI double in the sixth.

Grisham plated Pham for the game-winning run with a line drive single off Nationals relief pitcher Sam Clay in the bottom of the ninth.

Camarena, who made his MLB debut June 19, allowed two hits and two runs in two innings pitched. Padres starter Yu Darvish allowed eight hits and six runs in three innings.

Pham went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and an RBI in the win. Tatis went 2 for 5 with two RBIs, a run scored and a steal.


Shortstop Trea Turner led the Nationals at the plate, going 3 for 5 with three RBIs and three runs scored.

"You can go all across the lineup card and [see] everybody got in and is contributing," Padres manager Jayce Tingler told reporters.

The Nationals (42-44) face the San Francisco Giants at 9:45 p.m. EDT Friday at Oracle Park in San Francisco. The Padres (52-38) host the Colorado Rockies at 10:10 p.m. EDT Friday at Petco Park.

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