SAN DIEGO -- The Padres' rookie sluggers were at it again on Saturday night.Christian Villanueva left no doubt as to whether he'd extend his hitting streak to 11 games, mashing a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning against Mets starter Jason Vargas.Three innings later, Franchy Cordero added
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres' rookie sluggers were at it again on Saturday night.
Christian Villanueva left no doubt as to whether he'd extend his hitting streak to 11 games, mashing a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning against Mets starter Jason Vargas.
Three innings later, Franchy Cordero added an exclamation point, crushing a three-run missile into the right-field seats to give the Padres a 9-0 lead in an eventual 12-2 win. It left Cordero's bat at 116.9 mph, the highest exit velocity Statcast™ has ever tracked for a Padres hitter.
Villanueva and Cordero currently sit 1-2 among the Majors' rookie home run leaders. Villanueva's blast was his eighth and Cordero's his sixth. A month into their rookie seasons, the duo has burst into the national baseball consciousness.
"We were doing the same thing last year in Triple-A," Cordero said through an interpreter. "We were having good at-bats, hitting home runs. It's just really exciting to be up here with him, to be contributing like that."
Villanueva's two-run blast gave him the longest hitting streak by a Padres rookie since Jesus Guzman hit in 12 straight in 2011. It's the longest hitting streak by a rookie in the Majors this year.
Because he missed three games this week with left hamstring tightness, Villanueva is a few plate appearances shy of qualifying for the league's leaderboards. Were he able to qualify, his .348 average would be second in the National League, and his and 1.206 OPS would be first.
Cordero, meanwhile, has found himself atop a different leaderboard. His 96-mph average exit velocity is the best mark in the National League. He's the only player in baseball this season with three homers of at least 450 feet.
"I've never seen a ball go up there, where he hit that one today," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We seem to say that every other day with Franchy. It's a lot of fun. He's hitting balls no one else hits."
The Padres haven't had a National League Rookie of the Year Award winner since Benito Santiago in 1987. A month into the season, they've got two sluggers making an early case.
"It's clearly real power," Green said. "There's nobody that can look at what they're doing and doubt the power."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.