WASHINGTON — Bangor resident Matt Stairs of the San Diego Padres hit a solo homer in the ninth inning off Nationals closer Matt Capps Wednesday night — his 20th career pinch-hit home run, tying the major league record set by Cliff Johnson.
The Nationals won the game 7-6.
Stairs, who is an assistant hockey coach with the John Bapst Crusaders of Bangor during the off-season, has a .200 average with the Padres with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs in mostly a pinch-hitting role.
San Diego is Stairs’ 12th major league team during a career spanning 18 seasons. He has compiled a .264 career batting average with 261 homers and 889 RBIs.
Stairs has also played for Montreal, Boston, Oakland, the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Texas, Detroit, Philadelphia and Toronto.
MLB NOTES: Center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. is not in the Padres’ starting lineup against the Washington Nationals after bruising his heel a night earlier. Padres manager Bud Black says before Thursday night’s game that Gwynn “jammed his heel” while climbing the outfield wall trying to make a catch in Wednesday’s 7-6 loss at Washington. Gwynn “wasn’t braced” and “caught his heel in a bad spot.”