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With one out in the eighth inning and the Nationals trailing by three runs, Kobernus stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter and walloped a pitch from Cliff Lee into the left-field bleachers at Citizens Bank Park.
"I was just going up there trying to get on base," Kobernus said. "I'm not a home run hitter, but going up there trying to see some pitches and hopefully get on base. We're down three right there. We're not looking for a home run necessarily. But he left something up in the zone and I was able to put a good swing on it."
The home run has never been a big part of Kobernus' game. The 24-year-old utilityman hit only 10 of them in 1,468 minor-league plate appearances, seven of those alone coming in 2011 at Class A Potomac.
So when it did happen last night, Kobernus wasn't entirely sure how to react. It didn't help that the Nationals still trailed by two runs, and never did make up the deficit during what ended as a 4-2 loss to the Phillies.
"It was nice, but at the same time you can't be too up," he said. "We're still down two. Still in the game. Trying to win the game."
Last night's homer also happened to be Kobernus' first successful pinch-hit in five attempts. That's a new role for him, and one he's working on perfecting with more experience.
"The first couple that I had pinch-hitting a couple weeks ago was definitely new, because you're coming off the bench and might see a reliever or a starter," he said. "Ultimately, though, starting kind of helps me relax more. The longer I've been up here, the more relaxed I feel. Pinch-hitting is like, I don't know if you ever really get used to it. You just kind of know what types of at-bat you want to have. Down one, you wanna be aggressive. Down a few, you wanna try to work your way on base. Kinda still learning a little bit."