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Hosmer makes great impression in SD debut

Against Mariners, Padres' new 1B records first hit, RBI
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer arrived at the Peoria Sports Complex on Tuesday morning, checked the lineup card in the corner of the clubhouse and felt that familiar feeling in the pit of his stomach: pregame jitters.

He's had that feeling hundreds of times, but never as a Padre. After 10 years in the Royals organization, Hosmer made his first appearance for San Diego on Tuesday, and he made a solid first impression, going 1-for-3 with an RBI single against a split Mariners squad in an 11-6 win.

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer arrived at the Peoria Sports Complex on Tuesday morning, checked the lineup card in the corner of the clubhouse and felt that familiar feeling in the pit of his stomach: pregame jitters.

He's had that feeling hundreds of times, but never as a Padre. After 10 years in the Royals organization, Hosmer made his first appearance for San Diego on Tuesday, and he made a solid first impression, going 1-for-3 with an RBI single against a split Mariners squad in an 11-6 win.

View Full Game Coverage

"You can't really simulate any game action in the offseason," Hosmer said. "It felt good to get in the box, see some pitches. Everything about it felt pretty good."

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Hosmer batted fourth on Tuesday, but don't get used to that. Skipper Andy Green said Hosmer will most likely bat third during the regular season, and understandably so. His .318/.385/.498 slash line would have led the Padres in all three categories last season. That .385 on-base percentage is particularly appealing to a Padres team that finished last in the Majors in OBP in each of the past two seasons.

Video: SD@SEA: Hosmer on his first ST appearance

In his first at-bat, Hosmer poked a humpback liner to short, then bounced a single through the right side during a five-run fourth. He would strike out swinging in the following frame before exiting.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Hosmer exited the ballpark locked into a good-natured conversation with legendary Padres left-hander Randy Jones, who arrived in Peoria on Monday. Of course, Jones' No. 35 -- which Hosmer wore during his time in Kansas City -- is retired in San Diego. (Hosmer chose to wear No. 30, honoring his former teammate Yordano Ventura, who passed away last year.)

"I told him I would not even think about taking that from him," Hosmer said of Jones' number. "When you're a Hall of Famer for your organization, nobody deserves to come in and try and even ask him for that. But it's been great to talk to him, get to know him. I just met him today, so it's been a lot of fun."

Hosmer, one of the offseason's most coveted free agents, inked an eight-year deal worth $144 million last week. He is guaranteed $105 million of that before an opt-out clause he structured into the deal becomes available after 2022.

Hosmer's arrival necessitated a move to right field for Wil Myers, the Padres' first baseman for the past two seasons. Myers committed an error on Monday in his first game as an outfielder, but he made a nice running grab in the gap in right-center on Tuesday.

Video: Green on Hosmer's first spring game, lineup strategy

"I came up with Wil in the Royals organization," Hosmer said. "I know the competitor he is, and he wants to win. That was one of the things that really fired me up. ... Wil reached out and said he was more than willing to play right field. It fired me up."

Hosmer played all 162 games for Kansas City last season and tied a career high with 25 homers. The Padres host the Royals on Friday afternoon, though it's unclear if Hosmer will play.

For now he is getting used to his new surroundings. He likes what he's seen so far.

"The first couple days was weird," Hosmer said. "The hardest part was just putting names to faces. It was a lot of 'Bud' and 'Boss' going around, because I wasn't sure of names. As far as players go and the staff here, I'm already extremely comfortable with these guys. I really think the message that Andy and the coaching staff have sent to the team is the right one."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Eric Hosmer