Hernandez shows he's here to help with homer

Catcher's first career dinger puts D-backs ahead in 12th vs. Mets

Hernandez shows he's here to help with homer

NEW YORK -- D-backs catcher Oscar Hernandez was hoping to show the big league staff the progress he has made since last season, and he did just that on Wednesday night, as his solo homer in the 12th led the D-backs to a 3-2 win over the Mets at Citi Field.

Hernandez got the start Wednesday and finished 1-for-5 with what was his first Major League homer.

"I was just looking for a pitch to make hard contact on," Hernandez said. "It felt so good. It was awesome, the best feeling I've ever felt."

Hernandez, who was called up from Double-A Mobile on Tuesday when catcher Welington Castillo was placed on the paternity list, was selected by the D-backs in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft and therefore had to remain in the big leagues for all of 2015 or be returned to the Rays.

Between a hamate injury and the fact that his bat was not ready for the Majors, Hernandez did not see much action in 2015, collecting just 36 plate appearances and hitting .161.

This year he has gotten the opportunity to play every day, first at Class A Advanced Visalia and then in Mobile, and he has combined to hit .249 with an OPS of .779.

"I made some adjustments in my stance and my swing is a little different, and I hope it helps me in the big leagues," said Hernandez, who started at catcher and hit eighth Wednesday. "This is an opportunity the team has given me, and I just want to make the most of it. It was really hard for me to make adjustments with my bat [last year], because I wasn't playing that much."

Hernandez, 23, is likely to go back to Mobile when Castillo returns Friday, but he certainly left an impression.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.