ARLINGTON, Texas — A day after igniting debate across baseball about unwritten rules, when to swing, when not to swing, and all stances in between, San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. went 2-for-5 with a run and a stolen base as the Padres outlasted the Rangers, 6-4, Tuesday.
Tatis fueled a 14-4 rout over Texas on Monday with a grand slam and seven RBIs. His homer came on a 3-0 pitch from Juan Nicasio in the eighth inning, rankling Texas manager Chris Woodward and the Rangers over what they perceived as breaking one of baseball’s unwritten rules. Rookie Ian Gibaut relieved after the slam and his first pitch was a fastball behind Manny Machado.
Gibaut was suspended three games by Major League Baseball and appealed the penalty, keeping him eligible. Woodward was suspended one game and sat out, with bench coach Don Wakamatsu running the team.
In a statement from the Rangers, Woodward said, “I respect that decision by MLB and I will move on and prepare for our series in San Diego,” and after the game, Wakamatsu didn’t push Texas’ stance any further, only to say that the Padres “are a good hitting ball club.”
None of it seemed to bother Tatis, who with the Padres holding a 6-0 lead, posted his sixth stolen base of the season. It was a swipe that Wakamatsu did not have a problem with other than to say he thought Tatis “was out,” as the Padres won consecutive games following a five-game skid. The 21-year-old, who began the day topping the majors with 11 homers and 28 RBIs, is now tied for the MLB lead in steals.
Wil Myers, who hit a first-inning grand slam that kept the Padres’ momentum from the previous night going, was quick to point out the opportunity San Diego had on Tuesday — being inspired by Tatis and fueled by the Rangers’ reaction — especially given their recent struggles.
“When those situations happen, you want to put it behind you and come back and beat them on the field,” Myers said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.