Bogaerts reminds Red Sox what they're missing in Padres debut

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The San Diego Padres eventually might regret giving Xander Bogaerts an 11-year contract through his age-40 season. But the former Boston Red Sox shortstop did his best to prove why he's worth $ 280 million Thursday night.

Bogaerts was the Padres' best offensive player in his first game with the team, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a run scored in San Diego's 7-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Opening Day.

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After receiving a warm pregame ovation from the Petco Park crowd, Bogaerts introduced himself by ripping a double into the left field gap in his first at-bat.

Bogaerts doubled again in his next at-bat and singled in the sixth inning to start the game 3-for-3 and become the first player since Tadahito Iguchi in 2008 with three hits in his Padres debut.

The 30-year-old made an impact in the field, as well, firing a perfect throw on a relay from left fielder Juan Soto to nab Rockies baserunner Kris Bryant at home plate.

"We signed him for a reason," Padres manager Bob Melvin said of Bogaerts after the game, via MLB.com. "He can do multiple things -- runs the bases well, too. He got off to a good start, but obviously we didn’t get a win."

Bogaerts' strong start shouldn't be a surprise; he posted a .307 batting average in Boston last season and is still one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball. The Red Sox felt Bogaerts' absence immediately in their season opener, as shortstop Kiké Hernandez went 0-for-3 from the No. 9 spot against the Baltimore Orioles and was pinch-hit for in the ninth inning.

Again, paying Bogaerts for the next 11 years may not have been smart business for the Red Sox, especially with top prospect Marcelo Mayer rising through the farm system. But Bogaerts' departure will sting in the short term, and he proved as much Thursday in his Padres debut.

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