SAN DIEGO -- After all that, Javy Guerra got the baseball.The Padres' rookie shortstop recorded his first big league hit on Saturday night in one the strangest fashions possible. With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, Guerra hit a three-hopper to Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus. In a
SAN DIEGO -- After all that, Javy Guerra got the baseball.
The Padres' rookie shortstop recorded his first big league hit on Saturday night in one the strangest fashions possible. With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, Guerra hit a three-hopper to Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus. In a rush to get the ball to first, Andrus charged and played it on a short hop.
The ball kicked away, and Guerra was safe at first. The Padres awaited the official scorer's ruling. Moments later, the scoreboard flashed: E-6.
"For sure, I thought it was a hit," Guerra said afterward. "When I saw the error, I just thought, 'Never mind.' "
Credit to the Padres' clubhouse staff. One of the team's bat boys asked for the baseball. All milestone balls are monitored by an authenticator, and the Padres made certain he was on hand for the chain of events surrounding Guerra's potential first-hit ball.
Despite the uncertainty, the ball was authenticated as the one Guerra hit in the third inning. It made its way to the main office for the team's clubhouse staff.
Sure enough, five innings later, a new ruling came down. The play had been changed to a hit -- the first of Guerra's career.
The rookie shortstop was sitting at his locker in the home clubhouse after the Padres' 6-3 loss when team interpreter David Longley approached him with the news: Guerra was officially in the hits column.
"I didn't even know until after the game, but I was still excited to get it," Guerra said with a smile. "It was a great moment. ... It's funny the way it happened. But it's a hit. I don't care how I got it."
Guerra has been presented a unique opportunity with the Padres this month. He's undoubtedly a defense-first shortstop. His offensive numbers in the Minor Leagues have been poor, especially considering his status as a one-time top prospect. Guerra batted .223/.269/.398 in 122 games for Triple-A El Paso.
"Whatever he does with a bat in his hand is a bonus," manager Andy Green said. "He's always played really good defense, and that's his calling card."
But Guerra's glove is solid enough that if he were to provide even minimal offensive production, he could have a place on a big league roster as a defensive-minded infield backup. He'll be getting the chance to prove his worth this month, and presumably next spring as well.
"It's a great [opportunity] for me," said Guerra, who was back in the lineup on Sunday. "I'm going to fight to do my best every day."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.