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Hedges’ homer bounces off Smith’s glove in Padres’ 6-3 win

April 24, 2019
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Seattle Mariners center fielder Mallex Smith can't make the catch on a two-run home run hit by San Diego Padres' Austin Hedges during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Austin Hedges’ unusual two-run home run came with an assist from Mariners center fielder Mallex Smith.

Hedges’ fly ball to deep center field bounced out of Smith’s glove and over the fence, Franmil Reyes homered twice and had three RBIs, and the San Diego Padres beat AL West-leading Seattle 6-3 Tuesday night.

Hedges, the catcher, also had a brilliant defensive play for the Padres, who have won five straight in the interleague series. They won all four games last year after the teams didn’t play each other in 2017.

Hedges drove a ball to deep center off reliever Cory Gearrin with two outs in the sixth. Smith, a former Padres’ farmhand, leaped just in front of the fence and the ball bounced out of his glove and went over. Hedges appeared to chuckle briefly as he rounded the bases. It was his fourth.

Smith tumbled face-first to the warning track before glancing up at the fence and then sitting on his haunches, his hands on his hips and a look of disgust on his face.

“I knew I crushed it,” Hedges said. “If he doesn’t touch it, it’s halfway up the wall. I hit the ball 400 feet, so it was a good hit. Slider, too. I didn’t know if it was going to get out, but I knew it had a chance to get over his head.

Said Seattle manager Scott Servais: “You kind of saw him make the jump, the ball in the glove, and there it is, it’s over the fence. Crazy play, you don’t often see it. He was there, he was in good spot in time, he just didn’t finish it. You have to finish those plays though.”

This was the first time since June 2007 that the Mariners and Padres have met with winning records. The Padres have won two straight following a season-worst six-game losing streak. The Mariners have lost two straight.

Reyes hit a two-run homer to cap a three-run second inning and connected again off rookie Erik Swanson with two outs in the sixth. He has five this season. It was his second career multihomer game.

San Diego had three straight hits to open the second against Swanson (0-2), who was making his second big league start and third appearance. Wil Myers beat out a bunt and scored on a double to right by Eric Hosmer, who advanced on right fielder Mitch Haniger’s fielding error. Reyes followed with a homer to center, his fifth.

“Every time he steps up to the plate, it’s what we expect,” Hedges said of Reyes. “The work that he puts in, it’s one of the most disciplined batting practices I’ve ever seen.”

Hedges made a great play on a weak chopper by Smith leading off the Mariners’ third when he barehanded the ball and went airborne to throw him out at first.

“I don’t think I get him out any other way. If I set my feet, he’s safe,” Hedges said. “I didn’t even know I jumped like that. I just tried to get rid of it as quick as possible. I went and saw the replay. It was a little more athletic than I thought it was.”

Swanson said the second home run pitch to Reyes was “a little bit over the plate. The first one I had inside and he put a good swing on it. All I can do is tip my cap to him.”

The Mariners closed to 3-2 when rookie left-hander Nick Margevicius struggled through the fifth, walking the bases loaded before Tim Beckham hit a two-run single up the middle with two outs. Beckham was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, ending the inning.

Margevicius (2-2) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings, struck out four and walked five. Kirby Yates pitched the ninth for his 11th save in as many chances.

Swanson allowed four earned runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out three and walked none.

ANNIVERSARY

Tuesday was the 20th anniversary of Fernando Tatis Sr. becoming the only big leaguer to hit two grand slams in the same inning, for St. Louis at the Los Angeles Dodgers. His namesake son had two hits for the Padres on Tuesday night, including beating out a bunt.

VEDDER CUP

The teams compete for the mythical Vedder Cup, named by a Padres blogger for Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, who spent some formative years in the San Diego area before moving to Seattle. While the Padres currently hold the title, Seattle leads the overall series 55-52.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (1-1, 4.91 ERA) is scheduled to start the finale of the two-game series on Wednesday. He is 6-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 13 career starts against San Diego.

Padres: Rookie RHP Chris Paddack (0-1, 2.25) is scheduled to make his fifth start.

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