San Diego Padres reliever Daniel Camarena, a 28-year-old rookie making only his second career big-league appearance on Thursday night, authored a moment that may define his career by hitting a grand slam against Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
Camarena did his deed in the fourth inning, with the Padres trailing by an 8-2 margin. Despite being down in the count 1-2, he golfed a 96 mph fastball that was below the strike zone into the right-field stands. Take a look:
According to Statcast's calculations, Camarena's home run left the bat traveling at 107.2 mph and carried some 416 feet.
Camarena is the second player in Padres franchise history to hit a grand slam as a pitcher, according to the research done by Sarah Langs of MLB.com. The first was Mike Corkins, who did the deed on September 4, 1970. (Corkin made 157 appearances in total for the Padres, including 44 starts over six seasons.)
Camarena had previously made his big-league debut in mid-June, throwing 2 ⅔ innings against the Cincinnati Reds. In that contest, he allowed three runs on four hits and a walk. He also struck out three batters on 52 pitches. Camarena did take an at-bat as part of that game, striking out versus Reds right-hander Vladimir Gutiérrez.
Camarena joined the Padres in February 2020 as a minor-league free agent. He was originally drafted by the New York Yankees as a 20th-round pick in 2011 out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, Calif. Per Google, Cathedral Catholic is less than a 30-minute drive to Petco Park, making Camarena a hometown product, in a sense.