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Padres' Juan Soto Exits With Back Injury After Being Hit by Pitch vs Diamondbacks

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 8, 2022

Juan Soto (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto exited Wednesday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks two innings after he was hit by a pitch in the back, per AJ Cassavell of MLB.com.

José Azocar moved from center field to right field, and Trent Grisham entered the game to play center field.

Soto arrived in San Diego in August as part of a blockbuster trade from the Washington Nationals, with whom he spent the first four-plus years of his MLB career. He's posted a .773 OPS with three home runs in 28 games since joining the Friars.

The 23-year-old slugger was sidelined by back tightness in late August but expressed hope it wouldn't be an issue that lingered throughout the remainder of the season.

"I've never had a back issue, so it was kind of new for me," Soto told reporters. "It's pretty tough. I tried my best to go out there."

He's otherwise remained mostly durable since arriving to the majors in May 2018.

Azocar is an option to see more playing time for San Diego if Soto is sidelined.

The Padres' offense took a serious hit with the suspension of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., so a healthy Soto will be a vital element as the club tries to make a playoff push in the NL.

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