SAN DIEGO -- Fernando Tatis Jr. had been waiting for a breakout game, and boy did "El Nino" get it.
The 21-year-old budding superstar, who grew up in the game at the feet of his big league father, hit two home runs and drove in five to boost the San Diego Padres to an electrifying 11-9 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night that forced a deciding Game 3 in their National League wild-card series.
Wil Myers also homered twice and Manny Machado connected, but Tatis -- with his signature exuberance and flair -- was the one who carried the party at empty Petco Park.
With his blond dreadlocks bouncing around his helmet, Tatis danced down the first base line and gestured animatedly toward his teammates after igniting the comeback by lining a three-run home run into the left-field seats in the sixth inning. Machado followed with a home run shot to tie the game at 6-6.
Four batters after Myers opened the seventh with a home run for a 7-6 lead, Tatis was more dramatic after his a two-run drive into the home run deck in right. Tatis flipped his bat, turned and glared at his teammates before beginning his trot and then gave several leaping high-fives after touching the plate.
Tatis and Myers are the second teammates in postseason history with multiple home runs in the same game, joining Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees on Oct. 1, 1932 in Game 3 of the World Series -- including Ruth's famed "called shot."
The Padres are the first team in postseason history with five home runs from the sixth inning onward in a game.
It was the 23rd comeback win of 2020 for the close-knit Padres, who have pushed each other all year.
"I feel like we needed that big swing for the entire team to get us going," Tatis said of his first home run. "We were missing a lot with runners in scoring position. I feel like whoever did it first, we were going to feed off that. Thank God I did it first, but I'm just happy the team clicked and we won the game."
He was serious after his second home run because he wanted to send a message.
"We're in the playoffs. The game was not done, the job was not done until we get those 27 outs, we cannot back down, we cannot settle," Tatis said. "There was a lot of game left. I was wanting to keep motivating my teammates, just to let them know, to keep on. They are a team that they're going to answer back, so we've got to keep doing the work."
San Diego's powerful offense finally burst to life after slumbering through a 7-4 loss in Game 1 and a listless first five innings Thursday night.
After striking out with the bases loaded in the fourth, Tatis -- who along with Machado is an NL MVP contender -- homered in consecutive innings. Tatis' father played for the Cardinals for three seasons during his 11-season big league career.
Myers added a two-run home run in the eighth.
It was the Padres' first postseason win at Petco Park, which opened in 2004. The first four losses were to St. Louis, which eliminated the Padres in the division series in 2005 and 2006 -- the last time the Padres made the postseason -- as well as in 1996, when the Padres played at Jack Murphy Stadium.
Game 3 is tonight, and both staffs figure to be strapped after the clubs combined to use 17 pitchers.
BRAVES 5, REDS 0
ATLANTA -- It had been so long since Atlanta won a postseason series, Marcell Ozuna wanted to make sure he captured the moment.
Then Adam Duvall joined the selfie bandwagon.
Ian Anderson dazzled in another shutout performance for Atlanta, and the Braves won a playoff series for the first time in almost two decades by sweeping light-hitting Cincinnati.
Ronald Acuña Jr. had three hits for the NL East champions, including a run-scoring double in the fifth. After winning Wednesday's series opener 1-0 in 13 innings, Atlanta broke open Game 2 on two-run home runs by Ozuna and Duvall off Raisel Iglesias in the eighth.
Following his drive to left-center, Ozuna paused on his jog down the first-base line to hold up his hand and pretend he was taking a selfie photo.
When Duvall added another shot, Ozuna called him to the end of the dugout for another selfie.
It was definitely a fun day for Ozuna and Co. Not so much for Joey Votto and the Reds.
Anderson struck out nine in six innings as the Braves snapped their record-tying string of losses in 10 consecutive postseason rounds since their last playoff series win in 2001. Atlanta will face Miami or the Chicago Cubs in the NL division series in Houston.
Manager Brian Snitker described the postgame celebration, somewhat limited by the coronavirus pandemic, as "a controlled chaos."
"I told them we're just checking a box off in what we want to get done," Snitker said.
Just like in 2001, when Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz helped lead the way, Atlanta's pitching staff delivered.
The 22-year-old Anderson allowed two hits and walked two in his playoff debut after six regular-season starts. Will Smith, Chris Martin and Mark Melancon each threw one perfect inning.
Cincinnati wasted a solid performance by Luis Castillo, who struck out seven in 51/3 innings in his first postseason start. Bauer struck out 12 in 72/3 scoreless innings in Game 1.
The Reds were shut out in consecutive postseason games for the first time. The 22 innings without a run is the longest postseason scoreless streak in franchise history.