ATLANTA – Xander Bogaerts drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, Nelson Cruz went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and the San Diego Padres got strong relief pitching to beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Friday night.
The Padres began the game with a 5.84 bullpen ERA, third-highest in the majors, before Brent Honeywell, Luis García and Josh Hader combined to blank Atlanta in the last 4 1/3 innings. Hader celebrated his 29th birthday with his second save of the season – retiring three of four batters with two strikeouts in the ninth.
Bogaerts put San Diego up 5-4 with an RBI single that bounced into shallow right field on a check-swing. His good fortune helped San Diego, which advanced to the NL Championship Series last year, stop a two-game skid and improve to 4-4.
The Braves, who dropped to 6-2, scored three times in the third to force a 3-3 tie on Marcell Ozuna‘s homer, Riley’s RBI single and a wild pitch by starter Nick Martinez, who gave up a bases-loaded walk in the fifth to make it 4-4. Martinez walked five and allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Atlanta rookie Jared Shuster had his own struggles with command throughout four-plus innings, walking four and giving up four runs and six hits. He issued a one-out walk to Juan Soto in the first and gave up an infield single to Manny Machado and an RBI double to Cruz before allowing a bases-loaded walk that made it 2-0.
San Diego led 3-0 in the second on Cruz’s infield single. The Padres went up 4-3 in the fifth when Machado doubled and scored on another single by Cruz.
Atlanta RF Ronald Acuña Jr. leaped to make a tough catch against the wall to rob Soto of an extra-base hit and end the fourth.
The Braves placed CF Michael Harris II on the injured list with a lower back strain and called up Eli White from Gwinnett to take his place. Sam Hilliard took the spot of Harris, last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, in the lineup and went 2 for 4. Manager Brian Snitker said Harris isn’t injured seriously and should be ready to return in 10 days. … Padres RHP Joe Musgrove, recovering from a fractured left big toe, gave up five hits and three runs – two earned – while striking out six in a rehab start Thursday for Triple-A El Paso in Sacramento. Manager Bob Melvin said it was too early to tell if Musgrove will need another rehab start before he rejoins the rotation. Melvin added that LHP Ryan Weathers, who took Musgrove’s spot, will likely get another start, Monday at the New York Mets.
Braves RHP Charlie Morton (1-0, 5.06 ERA) will start opposite San Diego RHP Michael Wacha (1-0, 6.00) as the teams play the third game of a four-game series. Rain is forecast for Saturday, so the game could get pushed up as part of a doubleheader on Sunday.
Bogaerts, Cruz, bullpen lead San Diego past Braves, 5-4 originally appeared on NBCSports.com
Source: Yahoo Sports