Braves hold on for 4-3 win over Padres


The Atlanta Braves extended their winning streak to three straight and wrap up their road trip on a good note with a 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres.

The Braves jumped ahead in the second inning when Joc Pederson to Joe Musgrove deep to right center to make it 1-0.

Jesse Chavez and worked around a one-out double by Jake Cronenworth in the first inning. He retired Tommy Pham to begin the second and then gave way to Drew Smyly who sat the next two hitters down in a scoreless second. San Diego loaded the bases against Smyly in the third but Jurickson Profar flew out to left to leave them stranded.

Atlanta’s offense got back to work in the fourth as Austin Riley led off the inning with a double. Travis d’Arnaud drove a one-out double into the right center gap that scored Riley to make it 2-0.

Pederson grounded out for the second out but Dansby Swanson worked a walk to prolong the inning. Ehire Adrianza then came on to pinch hit for Smyly and dumped a single in front of Trent Grisham in center that scored d’Arnaud to increase the lead to 3-0.

Smyly allowed two hits and a walk over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave way to Jacob Webb who worked a scoreless fourth. Webb came back out for the fifth and immediately found himself in trouble. Wil Myers pinch hit for Musgrove and singled to left. Adam Frazier then followed with a bloop hit that fell in between Ozzie Albies and Jorge Soler in right. Cronenworth struck again with a with a triple down the line in right that scored Myers and Frazier to make it 3-2.

With Atlanta’s bullpen still quiet, Manny Machado stepped in and lined a single to center that scored Cronenworth to tie the game. Webb retired Profar and Pham on ground outs and then gave way to A.J. Minter who retired Grisham on a fly out to end the frame.

Pierce Johnson replaced Musgrove on the mound for the Padres in the sixth. Pederson worked a leadoff walk. After a Swanson fly out, pinch-hitter Orlando Arcia doubled down the line in right that scored Pederson all the way from first to give the Braves back a 4-3 lead.

Richard Rodriguez replaced Minter in the sixth. He got Ha-Seong Kim to fly out for the first out but allowed another bloop single to Victor Caratini. Eric Hosmer pinch-hit for Johnson and lined out to Pederson in center for the second out. Brian Snitker would then replace Rodriguez with Tyler Matzek, who allowed another soft single to Adam Frazier, but then got Cronenworth to ground into a force out to strand the runners.

Matzek came back out for the seventh and quickly issued a four-pitch walk to Machado. Profar Popped out on a nice over the shoulder catch in foul territory by Freddie Freeman. Matzek struck out Pham looking for the second out but then allowed a single to Grisham that put runners at first and third. Brian Snitker then summoned Luke Jackson who struck out Kim to strand two more runners.

Atlanta threatened again in the eighth but were unable to get the key hit they needed. Pederson singled with one out and then moved up to second as Swanson walked. Pederson moved to third on a fly out by Adam Duvall but Jorge Soler grounded to third to leave him stranded.

Jackson walked Caratini to begin the eighth but he was erased as Jake Marisnick grounded into a double play. Jackson then blew away Frazier with an elevated 95 mph fastball to send the game to the ninth.

Will Smith made things interesting in the ninth walking Cronenworth and Machado to begin the inning. He then came back and struck out pinch-hitter Fernando Tatis Jr. for the first out. He then walked Pham to load the bases prompting a visit from Rick Kranitz. Smith came right back and struck out Grisham and Kim to end the game.

With the win, the Braves push their NL East lead back to 2.5 games over the Philadelphia Phillies who lost to the Pirates Sunday. Atlanta’s magic number to clinch the division is down to five. They will enjoy an off day Monday before returning home for a critical three-game matchup against Philadelphia.