Atlanta (23-14) at San Diego (22-16)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 63° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Mon May 16, 2005
  • TV: TBS, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Tim Stauffer makes his home debut for the San Diego Padres when they try for a fifth straight win in the opener of a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves.

Stauffer survived a rough beginning in his major league debut and beat Cincinnati on Wednesday, 7-2 as he allowed two runs and four hits over six innings. He failed to retire his first five batters—hitting a pair—before settling down the rest of the way.

“After I got out of the first, I started to feel a little bit more relaxed,” Stauffer said. “It’s nice to show people what I can do.”

The Padres have high expectations for Stauffer, who was their fourth overall selection in the 2003 draft. The 22-year-old right-hander has a career 13-5 mark with a 2.79 ERA in 34 starts over his brief tenure in the minor leagues.

Stauffer’s demeanor in his first start created a strong first impression.

“He could’ve caved in there, but he settled in and pitched well,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. “That was impressive.”

San Diego used a 10-run rally in the seventh inning for a 12-4 win on Sunday that completed a three-game sweep of Florida. Half of the runs in the outburst were unearned as the Padres had six hits and sent 13 batters to the plate.

Ryan Klesko has been one of the major reasons why the Padres have won 11 out of 13 games. Klesko is batting .341 (15-for-44) over his last 11 games and has four multi-hit efforts in the last six.

Second baseman Mark Loretta is batting .424 (14-for-33) with runners in scoring position. Loretta hit just .288 with runners in scoring position last season.

“Last year, I didn’t hit as well with runners in scoring position,” Loretta said. “I’d always hit better with runners in scoring position than not, and I wanted to get back to that.”

Atlanta used outstanding pitching from its bullpen to capture the final two games of a three-game weekend series at Los Angeles. Braves relievers combined for a 0.93 ERA in the two wins as Atlanta evened its record to 3-3 on a 12-game road trip.

Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones each homered for the second straight game in a 5-2 win on Sunday. Andruw Jones, who got off to a slow start, is batting .419 (18-for-43) over his last 11 games.

“He’s come back good,” said Braves manager Bobby Cox about Andruw Jones. “But he’s really never been gone. Every year he’s going to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100. That’s what he does.”

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Starting Pitchers

J. Thomson KC vs. T. Stauffer Min
4-6 Record 3-6
4.47 ERA 5.33
61 K 49
28 BB 29
1.41 WHIP 1.49