Padres' Eric Hosmer stays red hot with home run to power San Diego past Yankees

The fun and likely up-and-coming Padres grabbed a win in Yankee Stadium Tuesday night (SD 5, NYY 4) and the biggest blow of the night came from Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer. The three-run shot: 

Hosmer has been pretty locked in this past week or so. He's hitting .428 with three homers and nine RBI in the last seven games, five of which have been Padres wins. It goes back a lot longer, though. 

Hosmer was hitting a paltry .184/.253/.263 after an 0 for 5 against the Reds on April 19. It would be far too early to worry about a player, but Hosmer was below average with the stick last season (99 OPS+), so the level of concern shouldn't have been zero. His eight-year, $144 million deal was in part due to Hosmer's leadership abilities in the clubhouse, but you still expect more production than 1.4 WAR in his first season. If the Padres were to vault into contention, surely they need a good version of Hosmer at the plate. 

Well, in his last 33 games, Hosmer is now hitting .363/.401/.590 with six doubles, eight homers and 24 RBI. He's pulled his seasonal line up to .298/.347/.471, which definitely plays. 

It's interesting that, for whatever reason (if there even is one), Hosmer seems to alternate between good and mediocre seasons at the plate. Just looking at his OPS+ by season, here's how his career has gone (remember, 100 is league average): 118, 81, 118, 99, 122, 102, 133, 99, 117 (that was this season before Tuesday, so it'll tick up a bit). 

Hosmer isn't old at age 29, so it's reasonable to expect that this is the good version of him and his full-season line is about where he'll end up this year. That's excellent news for the Padres, who are now 29-26 and have a shot to push teams like the Braves (or Phillies) and Brewers (or Cubs) in the wild card race, likely a year before many believed they could. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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