Tatis missing All-Star Home Run Derby, then hits 3 HRs vs Az

National Sports

San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr., tosses his bat after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, June 25, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. hit three home runs Friday night, connecting hours after saying he would not participate in the All-Star Home Run Derby at Denver’s Coors Field on July 12.

Tatis cited his left shoulder, which he said is at 75% following an injury early this season. He sustained a partial dislocation during a hard swing against San Francisco.

The 22-year-old shortstop looked in peak form against Arizona, homering in each of his first three at-bats.

Tatis hit solo home runs in the first and second innings, and his two-run drive in the fourth put the Padres ahead 8-5. Tatis singled in his fourth at-bats and then grounded out in the eighth.

Tatis is tied with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of Toronto and Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels for the major league lead with 25 home runs.

This was the first three-homer game of Tatis’ career. The major league record for home runs in a game is four, done 18 times. J.D. Martinez was the most recent player to accomplish the feat, doing it for the Diamondbacks on Sept. 4, 2017, against the Dodgers.

Tatis went on the 10-day injured list and returned April 16, then left last Saturday’s game against Cincinnati after diving for a ball at shortstop and re-injuring the shoulder.

Tatis leads the NL with 54 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.

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