PEORIA, Ariz. -- As the recipient of a new long-term contract that should keep him nestled in the middle of the Padres' order for years to come, home runs are going to be expected of Eric Hosmer. On Sunday, the All-Star first baseman got the first one out of the
PEORIA, Ariz. -- As the recipient of a new long-term contract that should keep him nestled in the middle of the Padres' order for years to come, home runs are going to be expected of Eric Hosmer. On Sunday, the All-Star first baseman got the first one out of the way.
Hosmer launched a two-run homer to left field off A's starter Frankie Montas, giving the Padres a three-run lead in the third inning. The homer marked Hosmer's fourth hit of the spring, and his second for extra bases.
It also accounted for a sizeable chunk of the Padres' offense in the 12-4 loss to the A's.
"It felt good," Hosmer said of the opposite-field shot. "That's kind of something that position players, hitters, look for when they first come out -- find a couple barrels early in the game and see where you're at from that point on. It was good to square one up, and we've been getting good work out here. Everything's been going well."
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Hosmer's homer came with slightly less fanfare than his first extra-base hit, which he logged on Friday against his old team, the Royals. The long ball arrived on a quiet Sunday afternoon in front of a modest crowd, with half the Padres on the road, playing a split-squad game against the White Sox.
"He's going to hit," Padres manager Andy Green said. "There's never any concern. Three games in [to Cactus League play] before he hit his first one -- that's a pretty good pace if he keeps that all season long. It was a good swing."
Given the hype that followed Hosmer -- a World Series champion with the Royals and part of a core in Kansas City that won consecutive American League pennants -- every swing he takes this spring will likely attract attention. The commitment the Padres made to Hosmer is the longest in their history, and the combination of Hosmer and San Diego's rich line of young talent represents what the organization hopes are better times ahead.
Eventually, the presumption is that Hosmer will blend in with his new teammates and not have to talk about every at-bat. But for now, so early in the spring, he's still somewhat of a novelty, especially as he gets acclimated to his new surroundings.
"It's been a fun experience for me," Hosmer said. "It's something different, learning the new faces around here. I think there's a lot of excitement because of the young prospects, and there should be.
"There are really a lot of good, young talented players. I think we've got a good mix of veteran presence to help guide the guys and show them what we've got coming for them. It's a nice mix."
Hosmer, who signed an eight-year, $144 million deal that was finalized on Feb. 19, struck out in his first at-bat on Sunday and grounded to second base in his third and final plate appearance.
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.