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Sanchez making most of chances for Padres

San Diego Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Hector Sanchez is making the most of his limited hits for the Padres this season.

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Hector Sanchez is making the most of his limited hits for the Padres this season.

The 27-year-old reserve catcher has seven hits.

Four of those have been homers.

Three of those homers were pinch-hit shots, two of which have led to Padres wins.

Then there was Saturday night's two-run walk-off homer against his former San Francisco Giants teammates -- marking the second time this season that one of his homers helped the Padres defeat the Giants.

Three of Sanchez's four homers were instrumental in Padres wins. A quick recap of Sanchez's 2017 homers:

April 30: His two-run pinch-hit shot in the top of the ninth off Giants closer Mark Melancon allows the Padres to avoid the shutout and tie the game at 2-2. The Padres win 5-2 in 12 innings.

Video: SD@SF: Sanchez ties the game with a homer in the 9th

June 24: His two-run, pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the eighth erases a one-run deficit and gives the Padres a 4-3 lead over Detroit. The Padres score three more runs in the inning and win 7-3. 

Video: DET@SD: Sanchez's two-run shot gives Padres the lead

June 30: His third pinch-hit homer of the season is a two-run shot against the Dodgers. But the Dodgers are far ahead and win 10-4.

Video: LAD@SD: Sanchez crushes two-run homer to right field

Saturday night: Sanchez made only his fourth start of the season behind the plate when regular Austin Hedges was a late scratch. His two-run, walk-off blast in the ninth gives the Padres a 5-3 win over the Giants.

On the season, Sanchez, who has twice been on the disabled list in addition to spending time with Triple-A El Paso, is hitting just .163 (7-for-43). But he has four homers and 10 RBIs and is 4-for-19 with three homers and eight RBIs as a pinch-hitter.

Sanchez is now 6-for-12 with three homers and eight RBIs in seven career games against San Francisco, his former team.

And Saturday's walk-off homer off Steven Okert was the switch-hitter's first hit against a left-handed pitcher in eight at-bats this season. He had been 0-for-7 with four strikeouts.


• RF Jabari Blash is 4-for-8 with a double and Saturday night's two-run homer off Madison Bumgarner in his first two games since returning from Triple-A El Paso as a sub for the injured Hunter Renfroe (neck). Blash has three RBIs and three runs scored with a walk in the two games. Up until his return, Blash had only three hits in his first 29 at-bats as a Padre this season.

• 2B Carlos Asuaje was 1-for-3 with a run scored Saturday night to extend his career-best hitting streak to a seventh straight game. He is 9-for-26 during the streak with three walks for a .414 on-base percentage.

• OF Matt Szczur is 4-for-6 with a walk in his last two starts after going 2-for-26 between June 10 and July 8. His solo homer in the third inning Saturday night was the Padres' first hit off Bumgarner.

• RHP Jhoulys Chacin allowed three runs on six hits in six innings against the Giants Saturday night. It was his seventh quality start in his last nine outings and his team-leading 11th on the season. In 10 starts at Petco Park this season, Chacin is 5-2 with a 1.94 home earned run average -- still the best home ERA mark in the National League.

San Diego Padres