The San Diego Padres battled back from an eight-run deficit to beat the Washington Nationals 9-8 with a walk-off hit by Trent Grisham in the ninth inning.
After the game, nobody was talking about Grisham's single; they were talking about the improbable grand slam by Padres rookie relief pitcher Daniel Camarena. He entered the game in the fourth inning after Padres starter Yu Darvish gave up six runs. Camarena surrendered two more runs, leaving the Padres trailing 8-0 going into the bottom of the fourth.
The Padres managed to plate two runs and load the bases against Nationals ace Max Scherzer bringing the 28-year-old to the plate. On a 1-2 pitch, Camarena reached down and ripped a fastball over the right-field fence, cutting the Nationals lead to 8-6 and sending the crowd at Petco Park into a frenzy.
Camarena, who grew up in San Diego, was called up to the majors on Thursday and became just the second pitcher in team history to hit a grand slam, joining Mike Corkins, who hit one on September 4, 1970. The last time a pitcher hit a grand slam was on September 12, 1985, when Pirates pitcher Don Robinson hit one against the Cubs.
"I still don't have a word for it," Camarena said after the wild game. "I'm still trying to find a word for my debut, and then this took it to a whole other level. In that at-bat, just trying to put the ball in play in that situation. Especially against Max, that's hard to do. I was just trying with everything that I had just to put a ball in play."
To make the moment even more special, Camarena's family was at the game to watch him pitch.
"Family is everything to me," he said. "We've been so tight-knit. I mean, my older brother, we probably spent more time in the batting cage at home than we did practicing pitching. I still haven't even gotten the chance to see him, so I can't wait to give him a big hug and just share this moment."
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