SAN DIEGO -- Since his return from the disabled list Friday, Hector Sanchez has tried to be the best teammate he can off the field.He couldn't have been a much better one on it Saturday, blasting a go-ahead, two-run home run as pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of the Padres'
SAN DIEGO -- Since his return from the disabled list Friday, Hector Sanchez has tried to be the best teammate he can off the field.
He couldn't have been a much better one on it Saturday, blasting a go-ahead, two-run home run as pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of the Padres' 7-3 victory against the Tigers. It was the catcher's first hit since landing on the disabled list for a foot contusion in early May.
"It's very nice to be back with my teammates, especially to help the team to get the victory," Sanchez said. "It's amazing to get back."
Sanchez's return was delayed when he pulled a quad while rehabbing, but manager Andy Green is happy he finally has Sanchez's bat on his bench. While the switch-hitting Sanchez was out, the Padres lacked a left-handed presence to call upon as a pinch-hitter.
After Erick Aybar begin the eighth with a walk against right-hander Shane Greene, Sanchez sent a 0-1 fastball over Petco Park's right-field fence.
"He's a guy that all of us enjoy having him here," first baseman William Myers said. "He's a guy that keeps the clubhouse loose. He's funny. He's a great clubhouse guy, so just to have him back in the clubhouse after such a long time's been great, and obviously what he did tonight was awesome."
Even more than the power Sanchez provides off the bench, the Padres are excited to have the energy he supplies to the dugout.
"He was talking on the bench the whole time," Green said. "There's a lot of stuff coming out of his mouth that's fun to hear, and it keeps the dugout alive. … A lot of it's just really fun, good-natured talk that I think guys feed off of and I think keeps guys loose and alive. Just his presence in general is positive for us. The home run's what he's here for, but his presence is also an added bonus."
Rookie Allen Cordoba, who exited Saturday's game with a left hand contusion after getting hit by a pitch, agreed with his manager, in that he enjoys the veteran expertise Sanchez provides.
"He's a really good person," Cordoba said through a team interpreter. "From my perspective, [I] get along really well with him. He's always helping me out, giving me advice, telling me what to do, what not to do. I think as far as the team goes, he brings a lot of happiness, a lot of energy."
Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.