Lawrence, who failed to go longer than six innings in any of his previous six starts, was solid over seven innings in Thursday’s 7-3 victory over Atlanta. The 27-year-old right-hander, who turns 28 on Friday, allowed a season-low two runs and five hits, striking out a season-high eight and walking just one.
“He kept the ball down and got his groundballs,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said of Lawrence, who had surrendered at least four runs in each of his previous four starts.
“It looked like he found himself out there.”
Lawrence, who had the Braves shut out before yielding a two-run homer to Julio Franco in the seventh, was also pleased with his performance.
“I went out and mainly stuck with two pitches. I didn’t throw the changeup much,” Lawrence said. “But everything was there and it was fun being out there today.”
Adam Dunn blasted his 11th homer of the year—tying for the big league lead—and Ken Griffey Jr. also went deep as the Reds took Tuesday’s series opener 6-3. Danny Graves recorded his major league-leading 14th save for Cincinnati, which has won four of its last six games.
Sean Burroughs went 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Padres, who have lost three of four.
Burroughs’ run-scoring infield single in the bottom half of the third pulled the Padres to 2-1, and Mark Loretta’s two-run double put San Diego ahead in the fifth.
But Dunn hit a two-run homer in the sixth to put the Reds ahead for good following a leadoff walk to Griffey, who was batting cleanup for the second straight game after being moved out of the spot for the first time in 14 years last week.