Finally, the San Diego Padres have returned to the postseason.
With an extra-innings win Sunday against the Seattle Mariners, the Padres officially clinched their first postseason berth since 2006. They are the second National League team to secure a spot in MLB’s expanded postseason field, joining the division-rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
Speaking of that budding rivalry, San Diego still has an outside chance to catch L.A. for the NL West title during the final week. The Dodgers’ division lead is four games.
On Sunday — playing as visitors in their home park after their series with Seattle was moved because of air quality — the Padres broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the 10th with a single by breakout star Fernando Tatís Jr., but allowed the Mariners to tie it again in the 10th. They went ahead for good in the 11th, piling on three runs for a 7-4 win.
The Padres have been the National League's hottest team over the past month. After starting the season a disappointing 11-12, they've rebounded to go 23-8 over the past 31 games. Coincidentally, the hot streak began with Fernando Tatis Jr.'s 3-0 grand slam that drew the ire of the Texas Rangers and helped transform San Diego into Slam Diego.
Now the Padres will look to win their first playoff series since 1998, when they advanced to the World Series but lost to the Yankees.
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