Fuentes has unforgettable Father's Day

Fuentes has unforgettable Father's Day

PHILADELPHIA -- Rey Fuentes, the hero of the D-backs' 5-4 extra-inning win against the Phillies on Sunday, almost took a detour before celebrating with his teammates after the game's final out.

The perfect Father's Day gift was sitting in the center-field bushes at Citizens Bank Park.

Fuentes' first career home run proved to be a game-winner. He launched a Jeanmar Gomez changeup 424 feet into the vacated vegetation over the center-field wall in the 10th inning.

Worried no one would retrieve the prized ball, Fuentes nearly took matters into his own hands.

"I was about to jump in there after that third out to look for it," he joked.

Luckily, the ball was found by a member of the Phillies ground crew and delivered to Fuentes in the D-backs clubhouse. The baseball's journey is not done yet, however. It has one more trip: To Puerto Rico, where it can stay with Fuentes' father, Pedro.

"It's very special," Fuentes said. "Even more today since it's Father's Day, so a shout-out to my father. Happy Father's Day and that's my gift to him."

Fuentes entered Sunday's game in the eighth inning as a pinch-runner. He was thrown out trying to steal second base to end the frame with the D-backs trailing, 4-3. After a ninth-inning rally, Fuentes had a chance at redemption in the 10th.

Fuentes stepped up to the plate for his 141st Major League at-bat. With one out, the D-backs were hoping for a baserunner and a way to get another run home.

Instead, Fuentes surprised the bench and quieted the crowd with a blast to straightaway center.

"I've been around Rey for a long time and I know that he's very capable of doing that," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "What a Father's Day gift for his dad. Couldn't have come at a better time for him."

With A.J. Pollock set to return to the D-backs soon, Fuentes' roster spot is not assured for the future. But he guaranteed he and his dad would have an unforgettable Father's Day memory -- and piece of memorabilia.

Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.