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Hernandez hits 1st Phils HR for 2nd straight year

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

ATLANTA -- Cesar Hernandez is just an Opening Day kind of player.

He hit a solo home run to right-center field in the sixth inning Thursday evening at SunTrust Park, smacking a 3-2 changeup against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran a projected 398 feet, according to Statcast™. It not only was the Phillies' first home run of the 2018 season, it was Hernandez's second consecutive home run on Opening Day.

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ATLANTA -- Cesar Hernandez is just an Opening Day kind of player.

He hit a solo home run to right-center field in the sixth inning Thursday evening at SunTrust Park, smacking a 3-2 changeup against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran a projected 398 feet, according to Statcast™. It not only was the Phillies' first home run of the 2018 season, it was Hernandez's second consecutive home run on Opening Day.

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He homered in his first plate appearance in the top of the first inning last season in Cincinnati.

Video: PHI@CIN: Hernandez goes deep to start the game

Interestingly, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler explained before the game why Hernandez was in the lineup over rookie Scott Kingery. Hernandez entered the game just 3-for-28 with two doubles, three walks and seven strikeouts in his career against Teheran, but Kapler called the decision a no-brainer.

"We felt Cesar brought a whole lot more to the table than just his numbers against Teheran," Kapler said. "It's a sample size, and it's worth looking at, but it's not the only thing we're taking into consideration. We're certainly not looking at him vs. Teheran in a vacuum. In fact, when we think about matchups, we want to think about guys like Teheran vs. guys like Cesar so we can increase the sample size and look at it over a much larger bit of data.

"That's not all that's going on here. We're not just making decisions based on matchups."

Hernandez also hit a leadoff single to center field to start the game.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Cesar Hernandez