MLB: Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres bid for repeat performance vs. D-backs

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Fernando Tatis Jr. extended the longest current active hitting streak in the majors on Friday night.

And this time, it was enough to help the San Diego Padres end a season-high-tying five-game losing streak.

Tatis got a 14-hit attack rolling with a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning of San Diego’s 10-3 win over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday. He will aim to extend his hitting streak to 14 games on Saturday when the Padres and Diamondbacks play the third contest of their four-game series.

Tatis is 23-for-53 during the streak, which includes a stretch of eight consecutive hits that ended on Thursday night. He became the fifth player in San Diego history to accomplish that feat, joining Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Brian Giles and Kevin Kouzmanoff (twice).

Tatis’ batting average has jumped to .282 during the stretch.

“We’ve got to keep grinding,” he said.

This time, the grind was worth the time. The Padres nearly matched their run total (11) from the previous five games.

San Diego will aim to make it consecutive wins behind knuckleballer Matt Waldron (3-5, 3.98 ERA), who has pitched to a 1.84 ERA over his last five starts. That includes Monday night’s performance, which saw the right-hander allow one run on two hits in 6 1/3 innings of the team’s 2-1 loss at the Los Angeles Angels.

“We can’t ask for much more of any starter — fifth starter, one starter,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said of Waldron’s recent efforts.

Waldron’s last poor start was his most recent appearance against Arizona, which recorded an 11-4 win on May 5 in Phoenix. He was charged with eight runs (seven earned) in three-plus innings, allowing eight hits and three walks with two strikeouts. He is 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in two career starts vs. the Diamondbacks.

Meanwhile, Arizona will counter on Saturday with the pitcher who was on the winning end of that matchup last month, right-hander Ryne Nelson (3-4, 5.44 ERA). He gave up four runs on eight hits in five innings that day, walking one and fanning three. He is 2-2 with a 6.23 ERA in six career starts vs. San Diego.

Nelson is coming off one of his best starts of the season on Monday night in the team’s 4-2 win over San Francisco. He lasted 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and one strikeout. Nelson used only 80 pitches and praised his defense’s performance.

“It was actually unbelievable,” he said. “I’ve never been a part of anything like that, but it was fun. I caught myself after almost every inning walking down and giving somebody a high five for making a really incredible play.”

The Diamondbacks appear to have reason to believe that Corbin Carroll is turning a corner. Last year’s National League Rookie of the Year had three hits Thursday and then walked twice Friday night and scored a run.

Carroll’s average is .198, but with 98 games left and a wild-card berth within reach, he’s hoping for a resurgence.

“I’ve never really underperformed like this,” Carroll said. “It’s been really challenging to trust it and keep working every day.”

–Field Level Media

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