Juan Soto makes his Padres debut: Star outfielder records one hit, but teammates carry heavy weight in win

Just over 24 hours after the transaction Changed the MLB landscape, the new-look San Diego Padres got their act together in front of their fans. Newly acquired Josh Bell and Brandon Drury are in the lineup, but apparently the main dish here — at least until the game starts — is 23-year-old superstar Juan Soto’s Padres debut show.

Soto was second in the lineup, batting in front of MVP candidate Manny Machado and new cleaner Bell.

The Padres will be very happy to send their fans home with a 9-1 victory. Soto wasn’t the star of the game, instead, the rest of the Padres’ lineup showed how scary he was around him. From start to finish, the game in San Diego was very lively. The announced attendance was 44,652 and it was sold out.

Witnesses described the atmosphere as “electric,” and Padres broadcasters repeatedly pointed out that it was probably the busiest place in Petco Park they had ever seen. This is before the game starts.

It was Soto heading to the right field in the first inning with the team.

He came to the plate, there was one at the bottom of the first, and the whole crowd was standing. Many fans can be seen holding their phones to record the moment. When Rockies pitcher Chad Cool made it 3-0, he was booed before the Padres faithful turned to chants of “Soto! Soto! Soto!”

Soto certainly gave the green light on the aforementioned 3-0, but the number four was not even close. His first board appearance with the Padres was a walk.

Of course, that walk ended up being the catalyst for a huge game. After Soto walks, Machado doubles, Bell walks, Jack Cronanworth hits, and then Drury, in his first pitch as the Padres, hits the slam:

That inning set the tone for the rest of the game. Machado would hit home runs and doubles 3-4. Cronenworth homered and drove home a three. Trent Grisham has an RBI double. Bell hit base twice and scored both times.

Soto came in right in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Padres’ first at-bat.

He finished 1-3 with two walks and one run. Even if he was overshadowed, it was a good debut.

On the mound, Padres southpaw Blake Snell maintained his nice trot. In July, Snell went 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings. On Wednesday, he allowed just one of four hits in six innings while striking out nine without a walk. He had some trouble in the third quarter but dominated otherwise.

Soto didn’t appear in the game, but he didn’t need to. That’s the beauty of baseball. While Machado, Cronenworth and Drury went crazy, his game was solid. In some games, Soto is still the star. The goal of getting Soto, Bell and Drury is to make the lineup as scary as possible. On the first day of the new lineup, the mission is complete.

The Padres have now won five straight and have the Rockies back home again in Thursday’s matinee before heading to Los Angeles for a three-game series against the No. 1 Dodgers.

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