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Hedges' two homers, late sac fly lift Padres

July 7, 2017

PHILADELPHIA -- Austin Hedges did everything he could to help the Padres win Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.The Padres catcher hit a pair of solo home runs in the third and fifth innings before he hit a game-winning sacrifice fly in the ninth in a 4-3 victory over the

PHILADELPHIA -- Austin Hedges did everything he could to help the Padres win Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The Padres catcher hit a pair of solo home runs in the third and fifth innings before he hit a game-winning sacrifice fly in the ninth in a 4-3 victory over the Phillies. Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta hung an 0-1 slider over the middle of the plate in the third, which Hedges hit to left field for his 12th homer of the season. Hedges then ripped a 1-2 fastball down the middle of the plate to right field in the fifth for his 13th homer and his first-career multi-homer game.

"Great swings, one to the pull side, one the other way," said Padres manager Andy Green. "To me, the biggest at-bat of the day is the sacrifice fly."

Hedges -- who had missed two straight games because of neck stiffness -- initially showed bunt against Phillies closer Hector Neris in the ninth. He fouled the attempt straight back, and fell into a 1-2 hole before lifting a deep fly to center that scored Cory Spangenberg from third. It proved decisive, as Brandon Maurer struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

"I should've got the safety squeeze down," said Hedges. "It was a good opportunity for us to win the game. ... But to still go out and win the at-bat -- that's tough to do sometimes after you screw up what you're supposed to do. To still go back in and grind, get that sac fly, I was very pleased."

Padres left-hander Clayton Richard allowed just five hits, one run and one walk in six innings. He struck out two. He would have pitched longer, except a one-hour, 34-minute rain delay forced him from the game. His only mistake came in the fourth, when Tommy Joseph hit a solo homer to right field.

Pivetta allowed five hits, three runs and struck out nine in seven innings. He allowed three home runs, including the two to Hedges. Pivetta posted a 3.94 ERA in his final five starts before the All-Star break.

"I'll take three solo shots and not walking anybody and striking nine guys out any day," Pivetta said.
• Joseph may be on block as Phils weigh options
Williams sparks rally:
Phillies pinch-hitter Nick Williams ripped a one-out double off the right-field wall in the seventh inning to put runners on second and third with one out. Daniel Nava's fielder's choice scored Cameron Rupp to cut the Padres lead to 3-2. Freddy Galvis then laced a single to left field against Padres left-hander Brad Hand to score Williams to tie the game, 3-3.

"When you pinch-hit you have to swing the bat aggressively and he did," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Williams.

Pirela crushes one: Padres left fielder Jose Pirela crushed a solo homer to left-center field in the first inning to hand the Padres a 1-0 lead. The ball travelled a projected 450 feet, according to Statcast™, and it left Pirela's bat at 109 mph. It is the longest homer hit this season at Citizens Bank Park, and the second-longest Padres homer this season. William Myers hit one 453 feet on May 13 in Chicago against the White Sox.

"That ball he hit was one of the hardest baseballs I've seen hit all year," Green said. "I think it was still going up when it went out." More >
"I'm a cheerleader, rooting on the guys. You want to stay in the game as long as you can, but when that's over with, you're just pulling for your team." -- Richard, on the rain delay
"I think he had a play at first base. He didn't fire." -- Mackanin, on Rupp. It appeared Rupp had a chance to pick off Spangenberg at third base in the ninth inning, but he held onto the ball
With 13 homers, Hedges continues to close in on Mike Piazza's franchise record for home runs by a catcher. Piazza hit 22 in 2006. Hedges, meanwhile, reached 11 rather quickly. But until Friday, he hadn't homered since June 3.
Padres right fielder Hunter Renfroe took a 95-mph fastball from Pivetta off his left wrist in the top of the sixth inning. It ricocheted off the back of his forearm and clipped his right hand. Trainers checked Renfroe out, but he would remain in the game, until the ninth inning, when Matthew Szczur took his place. At that point, a blood blister had formed on one of Renfroe's fingers, making it difficult for him to throw. The Padres are hopeful Renfroe will be back in the lineup Saturday.

Padres:Jhoulys Chacin makes his final start of the first half when the Padres face the Phillies in the middle game of the three-game set  at 1:05 p.m. PT in Philadelphia. He's looking for a strong finish, having seemingly turned a corner in June. Over his last six starts, Chacin owns a 2.61 ERA.
Phillies: Right-hander Aaron Nola (6-5, 3.73 ERA) makes his final start of the first half in Saturday's 4:05 p.m. ET game against the Padres. Nola is 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA in his last three starts, and 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA in his last six starts.
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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.