SAN DIEGO -- With his bat and with his glove on Friday night, Eric Hosmer made it clear once again why he was among the offseason's most coveted free agents.In an 8-6 loss to the Brewers, Hosmer notched his first two hits as a Padre, both of the opposite-field variety.
SAN DIEGO -- With his bat and with his glove on Friday night, Eric Hosmer made it clear once again why he was among the offseason's most coveted free agents.
In an 8-6 loss to the Brewers, Hosmer notched his first two hits as a Padre, both of the opposite-field variety. San Diego's $144 million man smacked a two-out single in the first and an RBI double in the eighth, before making a brilliant defensive play to cut down the potential tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth.
The Brewers would rally to win on Ryan Braun's three-run homer later in the frame. But results aside, Hosmer seems to be enjoying his time at Petco Park.
"It's a great atmosphere," Hosmer said. "Opening Day and today, it has been fun to play in front of these fans. It's great. They're intelligent fans, understand the game, understand the effort we're giving out there, and it's fun to play here."
During the offseason, San Diego inked Hosmer -- who tallied 1,132 hits in seven seasons with Kansas City -- to a franchise-record eight-year contract with an opt-out clause after five. Through two games, he's 2-for-8 with a pair of walks.
But his most impressive highlight came with one out in the top of the ninth and the Brewers threatening to tie the game. Hosmer backhanded a Christian Yelich chopper and made a perfect throw to the plate, keeping the Padres on top, 6-5.
"That's why we got him here," said right fielder William Myers. "That play in the last inning -- that was a big league play that you saw a Gold Glover make. That's the expectation for that guy. He's that good, and that's why he's here."
Said Hosmer: "It was perfect because I got that long hop. I'm going to take a chance in that situation. We've got our closer on the mound. We're going to roll with him all day. It was something I felt we should take a chance and try and keep the run from tying the game."
Playing all 162 games for Kansas City last season, Hosmer batted .318/.385/.498 -- all numbers that would have led the 2017 Padres. His first hit came against a member of that club -- Brewers right-hander Jhoulys Chacin. With two outs in the first on Friday night, Hosmer beat the shift by bouncing a chopper to the left side.
He would walk in the third and ground out twice, before smashing an RBI single into the left-field corner to give the Padres a 6-3 lead. It could have been more, but Matthew Szczur was thrown out at the plate after a perfect Milwaukee relay.
"I just kind of let the ball get a little deeper and got a barrel on it," Hosmer said.
Over the next half-decade or more, there will be plenty where that came from.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.