Kyle Higashioka hits walk-off HR, sends Padres past A’s

Kyle Higashioka led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk-off home run as the San Diego Padres grabbed a 4-3 win over the visiting Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

Higashioka jumped on a hanging changeup from Scott Alexander (0-1) and lined it into the left field corner. The ball stayed fair by about 5 feet, slamming into the seats for Higashioka’s fifth homer of the season.

Padres closer Robert Suarez (3-0) retired all four batters he faced to pick up the win. He was warming up for a potential save situation when Tyler Soderstrom cracked a two-run homer off Enyel De Los Santos in the top of the eighth, drawing Oakland even at 3-3.

Alexander wiggled his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the home half of the eighth, getting Jackson Merrill to line out to left for the third out.

Neither starter factored into the decision after working the first five innings. Oakland’s JP Sears gave up seven hits and three runs to go along with three walks and one strikeout, while San Diego’s Randy Vasquez permitted seven hits and one run. Vasquez walked two and fanned five.

Vasquez gave up his run on the game’s first pitch. Abraham Toro jumped on a fastball and ripped it 415 feet to center for his sixth homer of the year.

With the help of a pair of double-play grounders, Sears protected the lead until his fundamental error in the bottom of the fifth enabled the Padres to erase their deficit. With two outs and Ha-Seong Kim on second, Luis Arraez slashed a grounder down the first base line.

Soderstrom gloved it, but Sears was late to cover the bag and Arraez beat the play at first. Kim never stopped running and beat a rushed throw home from Sears to tie the game. Fernando Tatis Jr. followed with a double off the center field wall, and Jurickson Profar punched a two-run single to right to make it 3-1.

Tatis went 2-for-4 to extend his career-best hitting streak to 17 games.