Power switch: Solarte homers from both sides

Becomes sixth Padres switch-hitter to achieve feat

Power switch: Solarte homers from both sides

PHOENIX -- Yangervis Solarte did his best Ken Caminiti impersonation Friday night, homering from both sides of the plate as the Padres routed the D-backs, 10-3.

With one out in the fifth, Solarte launched a solo dinger from the right side, deep into the left-field seats. An inning later, as a left-handed hitter, he golfed a down-and-in changeup inside the right-field foul pole at Chase Field.

In doing so, Solarte became the sixth Padres hitter to go deep from both batters boxes in the same game. He joined Caminiti, who did so eight times, along with Chase Headley (twice), Yasmani Grandal, Milton Bradley and Geoff Blum.

"I just got a good feeling with my timing," said Solarte, who also hit a game-tying homer in his final at-bat Wednesday in San Francisco. "I'm looking for good pitches, and I'm hitting the ball on good pitches."

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Solarte certainly seems to be making up for lost time. After missing more than a month with a strained right hamstring, his return has given the Padres a serious offensive boost.

In 11 games this season, Solarte is hitting .289, and he's slugging .632. But in the eyes of manager Andy Green, Solarte's value is worth more than what shows up on his stats page.

"He's got energy and life," Green said. "There's nobody bouncing off the walls more than him. The guy's voice you hear right when you come in the clubhouse, right when you go in the dugout. It's a much-needed personality and a guy we really enjoy having around, being around."

Padres' three homers in the 5th

Matt Kemp, pointing out the new braids in Solarte's hair, echoed that sentiment.

"Having him in our lineup is big," Kemp said with a smile. "He's got a lot of swag."

The Padres turned Solarte loose on a 3-0 pitch in the third inning, and he swung at a fastball that would've been high, before popping out weakly to second a couple of pitches later.

Solarte seemed upset with himself afterward. He would get his revenge.

"There's only very few people who can do that, so it was very nice to see what he did today," Green said of Solarte's homers from both sides. "He had the 3-0 swing early in the game, was very angry at himself, because he chased above the zone on Robbie Ray. We'd greenlit him then, and [he] ended up popping out down the line. He was frustrated with that at-bat.

"So to see him flush that and have two really good at-bats and drive two balls out of the park from both sides -- fun to watch."

Solarte said he last homered from both sides while playing in Class A. It was precisely the moment he had envisioned during his time away from the club, rehabbing his hamstring.

"I was definitely anxious watching the games," he said. "Watching games from home isn't nice. It's not fun. It's definitely good to be back."

For the Padres, that feeling is mutual.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.