Kemp launches first homer with Padres

Kemp launches first homer with Padres

CHICAGO -- Matt Kemp has been coming to Wrigley Field since 2006 and it's taken him this long to finally figure out the place.

"I've hit a lot of balls here in my career where they didn't go anywhere," Kemp said Saturday, after the Cubs pinned a 7-6 loss on the Padres in 11 innings. "You never know here."

There was little doubt about Kemp's home run off Kyle Hendricks in the first inning, though; a two-run shot into what was the left-field bleachers before the Cubs ongoing construction project commenced. It was his first home run with the Padres.

"A good swing; hit the ball hard, see what happens," Kemp said. "We hit a lot of balls hard here today, some went, some didn't. I hit that one hard and it made it through [the wind]."

Soler's warning-track catch

Kemp thought he had a second home run in the 10th inning, when he drove a ball high to the gap in right-center field. But Cubs' right fielder Jorge Soler tracked it down before running into the ivy.

"There was a ball hit in the 10th, if the wind isn't blowing, that ball is out of here," Kemp said. "… Soler made a good play at the wall."

Kemp's first Padres home run came in his 12th game and in his 46th at-bat with his new team.

Kemp might have been homerless before Saturday, but he had been anything but unproductive. In fact, he's hitting .340 in 50 at-bats with six extra-base hits and a team-leading nine RBIs.

"That was well-struck, right into the teeth of the wind," manager Bud Black said of Kemp's home run. "… And the ball Soler ran down, that was crushed too. Matt's doing fine. He's doing his part."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.