After a mere twenty years of facing the Braves at Turner Field, the Padres helped their 1998 NLCS opponents open their brand new ballpark this evening. Hopefully the citizens of Atlanta enjoyed beating the Friars tonight, because they spent $800 million for the privilege.
The Braves got on the board right away, with Ender Inciarte notching SunTrust Park’s first hit. Freddie Freeman followed up with the first double, and Nick Markakis picked up the first two RBI on his one-out two-bagger. The Friars didn’t just hand over the win then and there; a two-out rally the very next inning broke the tie.
Erick Aybar took one for the team when Julio Teheran pegged him with a 91 mph four-seamer. Austin Hedges showed that his last hit wasn’t a total fluke by picking up another single, and then Jhoulys Chacin helped his own cause with a slow roller up the third base line that he beat out for a RBI single. Manuel Margot followed that with another RBI single to tie the game. The rally might have continued, but Margot got caught stealing second to end the inning.
The tie held until the fourth, when the Braves put together a two-out rally of their own. Tyler Flowers started it with a single, and then old friend Jace Peterson drew a walk to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Teheran proved he could hit as well as Chacin with his own single, giving Atlanta the last run they would need for the evening.
Of course, insult had to be added to injury, and Inciarte launched SunTrust’s first homer off of Craig Stammen in the bottom of the sixth to give the Braves a pair of insurance runs. The Atlanta bullpen took over after that, securing the first win of the four-game series.
They’re back at it tomorrow at 4:10 PM, with Clayton Richard taking on R.A. Dickey.