Several jokes were flying yesterday about Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez after 170-pound Endy Chavez popped a ninth-inning, go-ahead homer off him. It was the first homer of the season by Chavez and the fact it came in a pinch-hit appearance was even more impressive.
According to Mariners PR and history maven Jeff Evans, the last Mariners pinch-hit home run was by Franklin Gutierrez on June 20 of last year. It was the first pinch-hit home run to give the Mariners a lead by the seventh inning or later since Dan Wilson hit one on May 5, 2001. The last pinch-hit homer that gave the Mariners a lead in the ninth inning or later came when Ken Griffey Jr. hit one on Sept. 16, 1990.
So, that was a pretty rare feat by Chavez
Turns out, though, this isn’t Chavez’s first go-around with this late-homer stuff.
“I never did it in the minor leagues but I did it in the majors once with the Mets,” Chavez said. “It was the same situation. I was leading off an inning, the game was close and I hit a home run to keep the game going.”More