With all the deals the Padres made this offseason, they are bound to face some old friends. They've already played Yasmani Grandal with the Dodgers and Seth Smith with the Mariners. We also recently heard about Joe Ross making his debut for the Washington Nationals. Today it was Jace Peterson and Cameron Maybin for the Atlanta Braves. Peterson would hit in the leadoff spot and Maybin in the two hole. They each came to the Braves in separate deals, with Maybin part of the Craig Kimbrel trade and Peterson part of the Justin Upton exchange.
The first time through the lineup, those two were not a factor. That gave the Padres time to get an early lead. They did so after Yonder Alonso got on with an infield hit and advanced to second on a high chopper by Will Middlebrooks. Cory Spangenberg would then start the scoring with an RBI double. An inning later those old friends would respond. With one out Peterson battled Padres starter Ian Kennedy to a full count and then singled through the 5.5 hole. A wild pitch by Kennedy would advance Peterson to 2nd. From there Maybin sliced a single to RF that allowed his teammate to score. Not done yet, the former Padres CF stole second and scored on a Freddie Freeman single. Freeman would also score on a double by Nick Markakis. 3-1 Braves through the first 3.
Kennedy got nicked in the 3rd, but battled hard to put up zeros in his other innings. Unfortunately, all that battling used up a lot of bullets. After 5 innings he had reached the century mark and had to be pulled. That makes it 0 for 4 on this road trip when it comes to pitchers getting quality starts (6 innings or more, 3 earned runs or less). Odrisamer Despaigne went the longest yesterday (6 innings) and Tyson Ross got a win with 5 frames pitched before a rain delay ousted him. The bullpen would have to pick up Kennedy. Dale Thayer started it off and added another goose egg. Garces was charged with the 7th, but ran into trouble when he loaded the bases with 2 outs. Kevin Quackenbush got tabbed to get him out of the jab, and did through a stroke of luck where a Juan Uribe batted ball hit a runner for the 3rd out.
Ian Kennedy's battling and his bullpen's blanks kept hope alive for a late inning comeback. The offense got that memo in the top of the 8th when Will Venable hit a double to lead off the frame. A fly ball by Derek Norris moved Venable to third base. Former Brave Justin Upton would then drive him in with a groundout. It was only one run, but it brought back some hope after 5 innings of scoreless efforts.
Yonder Alonso didn't need a memo to know the offense should get going. He already had a single and a walk in this game and of course had recently saved the Padres bacon on this road trip with his grand slam in Cincinnati. After Quackenbush stayed in and held Altanta scoreless in the bottom of the 8th, Alonso would get things started in the 9th with a leadoff ground rule double. After a Middlebrooks strikeout, Melvin Upton Jr. was inserted as a pinch runner for Alonso thus making his Padres debut. He would advanced to 3rd base after a failed pick off attempt.
Joaquin Benoit would shut out the Braves in the 9th and Brandon Maurer would do the same in the 10th. After failing to get a runner on base in the 10th, the Padres would get back to their scoring ways in the 11th. Justin Upton would trouble his former club with a leadoff walk and then steal second base. Matt Kemp finally got in on the action and hit a double to give the Padres a 4-3 lead. After stealing 3rd base Kemp would score on an Amarista double to add an insurance run.
In the end, it would be the Braves who would fall by the means of an old friend. Ex-Brave Craig Kimbrel would come on to get the save (the 200th of his career) and add on to what Upton brothers did to help equalize what the Maybin and Peterson did early in the game. The win brought the Padres record to 3 and 1 on the road trip and took the team back over the .500 mark at 30-29. It also allowed the players and fans to enjoy a win before the Padres made their first selection in the draft.
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