San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. playing in outfield in return from injured list


The San Diego Padres welcomed back a familiar face in an unusual place.

Fernando Tatis Jr. returned to the lineup, but instead of playing his customary shortstop position, he made his first career start in right field for Sunday's series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He made an immediate impact, hitting his National League-leading 32nd home run in the top of the third inning -- a 416-foot solo blast to left field.

Tatis has been on the injured list since July 30 with left shoulder inflammation after partially dislocating his shoulder while sliding into third base. He has left three games this season because he partially dislocated his shoulder, with offseason surgery a possibility.

While recovering from this latest injury, Tatis started shagging fly balls in center field, leading to questions about where on the field he might play upon his return. Instead he'll play in right field, with Gold Glove winner Trent Grisham staying in center and Tommy Pham in left field as the Padres look to bounce back a day after being no-hit by Arizona's Tyler Gilbert in his first major league start. Jake Cronenworth continued to play at shortstop.

The news wasn't all positive for the Padres on Sunday as the team placed right-hander Yu Darvish on the 10-day injured list with lower back tightness retroactive to Friday.

Darvish (7-7, 3.70) left his start on Thursday in the third inning with the back ailment. He joins fellow pitchers Drew Pomeranz, Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack on the Padres' injured list.

San Diego enters play Sunday third in the NL West,10 games back of the San Francisco Giants, but holds a 2½-game lead for the second wild-card spot.