Major League Baseball’s official Instagram account commemorated the 22-year anniversary of Fernando Tatis belting two grand slams in the same inning at Dodger Stadium on Friday morning. Fernando Tatis Jr. liked the post and linked to it on his Instagram story. “History!” he wrote.
Hours later, the younger Tatis made his own history at Dodger Stadium.
Tatis homered twice off three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw in the second game of a four-game series pitting the Padres against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tatis’ first homer, on a first-pitch, 90 mph fastball in the third inning, traveled 431 feet and had an exit velocity of 113.4 mph, making it the hardest-hit homer of Tatis’ career. The second, on a hanging 3-1 slider in the fifth, traveled 419 feet and had an exit velocity of 115.9 mph — becoming the new hardest-hit homer of Tatis’ career.
Kershaw entered his start having not allowed a home run in 24 2/3 innings this season, then served up three solo homers through the first six frames, the other one coming off the bat of Wil Myers.
Tatis became just the eighth player to homer twice in the same game against Kershaw, who’s pitching into his 14th season. And he became the first player in the Statcast era, which dates back to 2015, with multiple hits off Kershaw that traveled 113-plus mph, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Tatis’ second homer was the hardest-hit ball Kershaw is known to have allowed.
Tatis returned from a shoulder subluxation seven days earlier and entered the game batting only .163/.265/.326 in 49 plate appearances.