Rookie Miguel Amaya hits first major-league home run in Cubs’ victory vs. Padres

The Cubs beat the Padres 7-1 to take a 2-1 lead in the four-game series.

SHARE Rookie Miguel Amaya hits first major-league home run in Cubs’ victory vs. Padres
Cubs rookie Miguel Amaya rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run in the third inning against the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

Cubs rookie Miguel Amaya rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run in the third inning against the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

SAN DIEGO — Cubs rookie Miguel Amaya knew the ball was leaving the park as soon as he hit it, and the feeling transported him back to Panama, where he hit his first home run in a tournament at 8 years old.

‘‘I have no words to explain it,’’ Amaya said of his first major-league homer.

In Amaya’s first game back in the lineup after being recalled Saturday from Triple-A Iowa, he made a mark — again. The Cubs beat the Padres 7-1 on Sunday, thanks in part to Amaya’s three-hit day.

‘‘Every hit was basically up-the-middle, left-center-type approach and simple,’’ Ross said. ‘‘Really good swings.’’

In the first two-plus months of the season, Amaya has gone from a prospect working back from a couple of serious injuries in Double-A to the first man up from Triple-A when the Cubs had an opportunity to add a right-handed bat this weekend.

The turning point was a stretch of six games with the Cubs while catcher Yan Gomes was on the concussion injured list last month.

‘‘He proved that he was able to handle the opportunities he was given and showed some really good at-bats, handled the pitching staff really well,’’ Ross said. ‘‘So just giving him an opportunity to come in, continue to get big-league seasoning, be around an environment with a lot of winners here and just continue to have his career grow and help us win ballgames.’’

Amaya served as the designated hitter Sunday and reached base in all four plate appearances — a homer, two singles and a hit-by-pitch — but Ross is expected to use him behind the plate, too.

‘‘I love guys who are just consistent,’’ said Cubs starter Marcus Stroman, who held the Padres to an unearned run in six innings for his 11th quality start of the season. ‘‘A lot of times, especially young guys, you see guys that are really wearing the highs and lows. And Amaya’s a guy who’s just so cool and collected each and every day.

‘‘It’s like a veteran presence, something that gets built over years. But some guys have it when they’re young, and he does.’’

In his first at-bat, Amaya had to follow back-to-back homers by Gomes and Trey Mancini, but he didn’t swing out of his shoes. Instead, he watched an inside heater from Padres left-hander Ryan Weathers for strike one, then jumped on an outside changeup and pulled it to left field for a single. He later scored when Dansby Swanson doubled to deep center as part of a four-run second.

By the third, right-hander Drew Carlton had replaced Weathers. Amaya dodged an inside sinker from Carlton, then drove an up-and-in fastball 415 feet for a two-run homer that put the Cubs up 7-0.

As he rounded the bases, he pictured his parents jumping up and down at home, bursting with pride.

‘‘It’s something that I’m going to remember the rest of my life,’’ he said.

But Amaya wasn’t done. He faced hard-throwing right-hander Domingo Tapia in the sixth and again hit the second pitch of the at-bat. Tapia also tested Amaya inside, and Amaya sent the sinker on a line into left field.

In his final plate appearance, Amaya fouled off three fastballs against left-hander Tom Cosgrove in the ninth before Cosgrove hit him with a slider.

Amaya had a simple explanation for his immediate impact in his second stint with the Cubs.

‘‘I was ready; I was in my plan,’’ he said. ‘‘I was ready for every single pitch. Just do damage. That’s all I did.’’

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