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Stults keep Padres rolling in 4-1 win over Braves

ATLANTA — Eric Stults combined with two relievers on a five-hitter, Chase Headley homered and drove in two runs and the San Diego Padres beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 on Monday night.

Stults (3-2) gave up five hits and one run in 7 2-3 innings — his longest start in three years. While with the Dodgers, Stults beat the Giants 8-0 on May 9, 2009, his last complete game.

The Padres, who had a six-game winning streak snapped on Sunday, have won eight of 10 for the first time this season.

Yonder Alonso had three hits and Chris Denorfia had two hits and scored two runs for the Padres.

Stults lost his bid for a shutout in the eighth when Michael Bourn singled and scored on Martin Prado's triple into the right-field corner. Luke Gregerson struck out Jason Heyward to end the inning.

Dale Thayer pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.

Mike Minor (6-9) gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings.

Stults has worked in relief and as a starter since he was claimed off waivers from the White Sox on May 17. He has won two straight starts, including 5 1-3 innings in a 2-0 win over the Cubs on Aug. 6.

Stults was dominant early, allowing only one hit in the first five innings. That was nothing new; in his first six starts with the White Sox and Padres, he had a 0.75 ERA in the first four innings. Stults' problems had come after the fourth, when he had a 6.94 ERA.

This time, Stults retained his edge longer into the game.

The Braves' first threat came in the fourth, when Heyward reached on first baseman Alonso's fielding error with two outs and moved to third on Chipper Jones' single to left. Freddie Freeman's groundout ended the inning.

Atlanta's Prado and Heyward had consecutive singles with two outs in the sixth before Jones ended the inning with a fly ball to center.

Denorfia led off the second with a double and later scored on Cameron Maybin's sacrifice fly. Denorfia led off the sixth with a triple and scored on Alonso's single.

Stults singled in the sixth and scored on a single by Headley, who was thrown out as he tried to advance to second. Headley hit his 19th homer off Chad Durbin in the seventh.

NOTES: When RHP Tommy Hanson (strained lower back) comes off the 15-day DL to start Friday against the Dodgers, the Braves will move to a six-man rotation for about two weeks. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will pick the five best — or healthiest — for September. ... Braves SS Jack Wilson, who has been on the 15-day DL with a dislocated right little finger, aggravated the injury in a rehab game with Triple-A Gwinnett and was back in Atlanta to have the finger examined. ... Headley was named NL player of the week after hitting .333 with three homers and 11 RBIs for the period ending Sunday. ... Padres LHP Clayton Richard, coming off a shutout of the Cubs, will start against Braves RHP Tim Hudson on Tuesday night.

Comments

kevin 2 years, 1 month ago

My comments over the past 2 months seems to be right on. Braves trying to still figure out who their starters will be and their big money players do not know how to clutch-hit. I have been saying for a month that Heyward can't yet hit a sinker. Never saw someone strike out so many times, especially with men in scoring position. Chipper is slowing down little by little as well. He needs rest after every 3 games. The Braves can surely go out on the market and find a speedy right fielder who can hit. Just look at their past opponents! Minor is next to go back the the minors. The playoffs are not far off and the Braves still haven't fixed their hitting problems. No one seems to be consistent except for Prado. I am starting to think McCain is almost done also. They all swing for the fences instead of playing baseball.

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