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Tatis does a Tatis thing, astonishing teammates

@AJCassavell
June 16, 2019

DENVER -- Even on his supposed night off, Fernando Tatis Jr. found a way to pull off something spectacular. The rookie phenom entered the Padres' 14-8 loss to Colorado in the fifth inning Saturday after Manny Machado was ejected. Then, he laid out for one of the most absurd diving

DENVER -- Even on his supposed night off, Fernando Tatis Jr. found a way to pull off something spectacular.

The rookie phenom entered the Padres' 14-8 loss to Colorado in the fifth inning Saturday after Manny Machado was ejected. Then, he laid out for one of the most absurd diving catches this season.

Rockies catcher Tony Wolters hit a rocket to Tatis' right. The Padres' shortstop took one plant step, then went full-extension for an airborne grab, before crashing hard into the ground.

"It's just reaction," said Tatis. "You see it, and you try to get there. … I didn't know if I was going to get it. But I knew I was going for it 100 percent."

"I just thought, 'Oh that's a base hit,'" said Greg Garcia, who was stationed a few feet away at third base. "Even when he dove, I thought there was no way he's getting to it. It was pretty crazy."

Tatis, who also singled twice in two at-bats, was out of the lineup Saturday because the Padres are looking to ease him back into game action. They're in the midst of nine games in nine days, and Tatis had missed more than a month with a left hamstring strain before returning last week.

He's picked up right where he left off. Tatis is hitting .424 in nine games since his return, bringing his season average to .331 and his OPS to .997.

"He's talented, special, can do a lot of really good things," manager Andy Green said. "We were hoping he got a day of rest today. ... He went out there and got two hits. We love that guy on the field."

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