Phillies: Didi Gregorius Homers in First Game Back

Jul 2, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 2, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports /
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Didi Gregorius returned to the Phillies and immediately made an impact.

Back like he never left!

In his first game back with the Phillies after a lengthy stint on the Injured List, Didi Gregorius homered in the bottom of the fifth inning in Friday night’s series opener against the Padres.

Gregorius’ fifth home run of the season – off an 86.1 mph changeup – had a 105.8 mph exit velocity. It was his first home run since May 5. It also snapped Padres starter Chris Paddack’s streak of 13 consecutive batters retired.

Gregorius last played for the Phillies on May 12. To that point in the season, he was hitting .229/.266/.364 with four doubles, four home runs, a stolen base, and 10 runs scored. His .630 OPS is the lowest it’s been since his debut season with Cincinnati in 2012, when he only appeared in eight games.

Unfortunately, Gregorius’ return came at the cost of Nick Maton, who was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley as the corresponding move. Maton was hitting .500 with a 1.420 OPS over his last four games. The 24-year-old Maton made his debut on April 19 and hit .265/.328/.398 with a pair of home runs, seven doubles, a triple, 13 RBI, and two stolen bases in 45 games for the big-league club.

The Phillies have been fortunate to get a few players back from the IL this week; Jean Segura joined the club again during the Marlins series. His IL stint was considerably shorter than Gregorius’, who was on the IL for 50 days with elbow inflammation.

But the best part of this home run – besides having Didi back – was undoubtedly the Phillies tweeting out photos of the moment with an Olivia Rodrigo caption.

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