Padres need another late rally while Austin Hedges has first walk-off hit

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SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 7: Austin Hedges #18 of the San Diego Padres, right, celebrates next to Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 after hitting a walk-off single during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park on June 7, 2019 in San Diego, California. The Padres won 5-4. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 7: Austin Hedges #18 of the San Diego Padres, right, celebrates next to Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 after hitting a walk-off single during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park on June 7, 2019 in San Diego, California. The Padres won 5-4. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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The San Diego Padres rallied for the second night in a row to beat the Washington Nationals, this time through a milestone for Austin Hedges.

The San Diego Padres had to come from behind again to earn a win on Friday. But in putting them over the top against the Washington Nationals, Austin Hedges made personal history.

Hedges’ game-winning single was the Padres catcher’s first walk-off hit, giving him something else to celebrate as he helped the team win by the exact same score as Thursday’s game: 5-4.

Friday’s story went a little bit differently than the one before, though. San Diego starter Nick Margevicius, largely assumed to be pitching to keep his job, held Washington scoreless through 3.2 innings with three strikeouts.

And the Padres got out to an early lead, with Manny Machado delivering an RBI in the bottom of the first. Then Fernando Tatis Jr. continued celebrating his return by smashing a two-run homer in the sixth.

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But the wheels came off in the seventh, as Matt Wisler allowed three runs on four hits. Wisler was charged with a blown save, and then Adam Warren surrendered an additional run during the top of the ninth on a wild pitch.

That left San Diego down 4-3 going into their last at-bats, but Eric Hosmer tripled and Josh Naylor drove him home with a ground ball single.

Hedges followed that up with another single to bring in Naylor and give the Padres another close victory.

It was a good showing for the catcher, who was hitting just .189 at the time—having struggled with his offense all season, causing some doubt about his future with San Diego.

Hedges’ batting average going into Friday was the lowest of any Padre in the starting lineup other than Margevicius. But when it mattered the most, he helped deliver a victory and ensure that the worst San Diego can do is split the four-game set with Washington.

With the Los Angeles Dodgers losing on Friday, the Padres also picked up a game on the National League West leaders, though they didn’t gain any ground on second-place Colorado. They’re now two games above .500, so the good news is that they’re climbing their way back up after a few frustrating losses.

But then there’s this slightly uncomfortable fact: San Diego is now 3-4 in the first seven days of June, and two of their three wins are by just one run. They’re certainly keeping things interesting, but need to find a way to keep from getting themselves into situations that they won’t always be able to get out of.

Next. Padres might not be winners in Trevor Bauer trade. dark

For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres’ 2019 season, continue following Friars on Base.

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