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Hedges' bat starting to heat up in August

MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- After his game-tying single in the middle of the Padres' sixth-inning rally Monday, Austin Hedges looked at third base coach Glenn Hoffman, pointed eight fingers upward and wiggled them.

"That's a Hoffy thing," Hedges said. "Anytime something good happens."

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SAN DIEGO -- After his game-tying single in the middle of the Padres' sixth-inning rally Monday, Austin Hedges looked at third base coach Glenn Hoffman, pointed eight fingers upward and wiggled them.

"That's a Hoffy thing," Hedges said. "Anytime something good happens."

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Plenty of good happened for Hedges and the Padres on Monday night, as San Diego struck for four runs in the sixth inning of its 7-4 victory against the Phillies at Petco Park. Hedges, too, found success after ending the Padres' 10-game road trip in an 0-for-13 rut.

After his first-inning sacrifice fly propelled San Diego to a 1-0 lead Monday, Hedges singled up the middle in the fourth as the Padres rallied to tie the game at 2.

With runners on first and second in the sixth and his team once more down a run, he did so again, as his sinking liner popped out of center fielder Odubel Herrera's glove and allowed Cory Spangenberg to race home.

The 2-for-3 performance was Hedges' fourth multi-hit game of August, matching the total he put together in June and July combined.

"Just coming off that L.A. series, wasn't feeling as good as I was before that," Hedges said. "... I wasn't even really feeling that great today at the plate, to be honest, but I just trusted the process, trusted my approach and put good swings on pitches I wanted to hit."

Video: PHI@SD: Hedges plates Myers with a sac fly to left

Not to be understated was his work behind the plate. With the game deadlocked and the bases loaded in the fifth, Hedges and left-hander Travis Wood met on the mound several times while Rhys Hoskins, who hit his first Major League homer an inning earlier and would hit his second two innings later, stood in the box.

After several discussions, Wood and Hedges got Hoskins to fly out to center on a cutter, ending the threat and preserving the tie. Wood, acquired a week before last month's Trade Deadline, was making only his third start with Hedges as his catcher, but he's quickly learned to appreciate the 24-year-old's efforts.

"He puts in a lot of work and time to know his pitcher, know how the game plan's going to go," Wood said. "Hats off to him for doing his homework."

Manager Andy Green also valued Hedges' impact on both sides of the game.

"The first thing I think about with him is what he does behind the plate and how he gets the pitchers through the game," Green said. "He does that very, very well. It's nice to see him hit the ball into center field a couple times. He had good at-bats all day long. I'm excited to see that from him."

Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San DIego.

San Diego Padres, Austin Hedges