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Hedges smokes one into the second deck

@AJCassavell
April 12, 2019

PHOENIX -- No doubt, Austin Hedges is best known for his work behind the plate. Those efforts have been on full display this season, as the Padres catcher has nurtured the youngest rotation in baseball. But Hedges has plenty of pop, too. He made that abundantly clear on Thursday night

PHOENIX -- No doubt, Austin Hedges is best known for his work behind the plate. Those efforts have been on full display this season, as the Padres catcher has nurtured the youngest rotation in baseball.

But Hedges has plenty of pop, too. He made that abundantly clear on Thursday night in the Padres’ thrilling 7-6 victory over Arizona.

Hedges demolished a 1-0 fastball from D-backs starter Zack Godley in the sixth inning, sending it to the second deck at Chase Field. Statcast tracked the blast at 449 feet, and it left his bat at 108 mph.

"That was it," Hedges joked afterward. "That was my best bullet. That's all I got, 449 -- 450 is unrealistic apparently."

Indeed, the 449-foot blast was the longest of Hedges’ big league career, according to Statcast. He has hit only two baseballs harder, and neither of them were home runs.

Hedges’ three-run shot capped a five-run Padres inning, which broke open a tie ballgame. The D-backs rallied to tie things up again before Manuel Margot’s solo shot in the eighth put San Diego on top for good.

Hedges finished the night 1-for-3, and he was hit by a pitch in the fifth. Even the two outs he made were impressive. He saw nine pitches from Godley in a second-inning strikeout, then he fought Archie Bradley for 11 pitches in the eighth, before lining out to third base.

“The home run was huge,” said Padres manager Andy Green. “But that at-bat against Archie Bradley might be the best at-bat I’ve ever seen him put on a pitcher. He ends up lining out to end the at-bat. But that was a great battle. It’s fun to watch that and watch guys grow right in front of your eyes.”

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.