SAN DIEGO (AP) — Rookie sensation Fernando Tatis Jr. almost single-handedly gave San Diego a three-run lead, the bullpen gave it away and then the Padres came punching back against Sean Doolittle.
Austin Hedges’ RBI single with two outs in the ninth capped a two-run rally off Doolittle and gave the Padres a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
Hedges’ single to left brought in rookie Josh Naylor, who slid headfirst as his helmet flew off. Hedges was then mobbed by his teammates.
Eric Hosmer tripled off Doolittle (4-2) with one out to start the winning rally and scored on Naylor’s single. The rookie then stole second base.
“He’s one of the best closers in the league for a reason,” said Hedges, the catcher who has struggled offensively this season. “He’s got a special fastball. He’s had a lot of success. For the boys to go out there and put such good at-bats against a quality closer like him, I think it just shows how good this team is.
“We’ve got so much faith in each other. No matter whether we’re down or we’re up, we expect to do it every day.”
Hedges said he was disappointed that he wasn’t able to block Adam Warren’s wild pitch that allowed Washington to go ahead in the top of the inning.
“I was just praying for that moment. I was a little disappointed with not blocking that ball in that last inning allowing that run. I should expect a little more of myself in that situation. I was just praying that obviously if anybody got a chance to win that game, I wanted to win that game.”
Doolittle said he made a mistake to Hosmer.
“That ball kind of ended up in his happy spot, down and in. It was supposed to be up more. The times I’ve had success against him it’s been up in the zone. I battled back and we get that strikeout and I felt like I had that killer instinct there. I could see my way out of it. Props to Naylor. I went back and looked, I did exactly what I wanted to do with that fastball and it came right back at me probably harder than I threw it.”
The comeback eased the sting of the bullpen blowing a 3-0 lead provided by Tatis, who hit a two-run homer and finished with a career-high three hits in his second game back from missing 34 games with a strained left hamstring.
“I can’t even describe it,” Hedges said of the energy Tatis brings. “I’ve never seen anything like it. For a kid to be that young, and honestly, at one point he was going to single-handedly win the game for us, it’s unheard of.”
The Nationals had taken a 4-3 lead against the Padres’ bullpen.
Trea Turner hit a tying, two-run bloop double in the seventh inning and Brian Dozier scored the go-ahead run on Adam Warren’s wild pitch in the ninth.
Yan Gomes was thrown out trying to take third on Gerardo Parra’s fly ball to left to end the ninth.
“Got hosed man. That was stupid,” Gomes said. “Not something I needed to be doing right there. I thought it was getting deep enough, thought I could take a good chance and it didn’t go my way.”
Tatis’ moonshot homer into the Padres’ bullpen beyond the fence in left-center with no outs in the sixth gave the Padres a 3-0 lead. It was Tatis’ first since coming back from the injured list on Thursday and his seventh overall. Greg Garcia was aboard on a leadoff single.
But Padres reliever Matt Wisler gave up the lead in the seventh on three singles, a wild pitch and a double. Yan Gomes hit a one-out single to bring in the first run and Turner hit a bloop, two-run double that caromed off the glove of center fielder Wil Myers to bring in two runs and tie it.
Turner was the Padres’ first-round pick in the 2014 amateur draft and was sent to Washington as part of a three-way trade that December that brought Myers to San Diego.
Dozier doubled off Warren (4-1) leading off the ninth, was sacrificed by Victor Robles before scoring on a wild pitch.
Tatis scored San Diego’s first run by leading off the first with a single to right, advancing on Myers’ groundout, stealing third and coming home on Manny Machado’s groundout.
The Nationals blew a lead for the second straight night. On Thursday, they were up 4-0 in the first before losing 5-4.
“You go into the bottom of the ninth feeling pretty good,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “Boys battled back, we played good baseball, battled back to take the lead and the ninth inning just got away.”
Padres rookie left-hander Nick Margevicius was working on a three-hit shutout when manager Andy Green pulled him after he allowed Howie Kendrick’s two-out single in the fourth. Miguel Diaz came on and got Dozier to hit into a force.
Washington starter Erick Fedde allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, struck out five and walked none.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (3-5, 3.06) is scheduled to start Saturday night. This will be his fifth start this season on five days rest (1-2, 4.10 ERA, 42 strikeouts, five walks).
Padres: LHP Eric Lauer (5-4, 4.18) will try for his fourth victory in as many starts.
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