The San Diego Padres’ lineup had not been very productive lately. They broke out of their slump in impressive fashion.
Hoping to build off one of their best offensive efforts of the season, the Padres look to stay unbeaten this season against the Atlanta Braves when this series of division leaders continues.
Joe Randa and Mark Sweeney hit three-run homers and San Diego matched a season high with 20 hits in a 12-7 victory at Atlanta on Friday night. Brian Giles was 4-for-5 with a walk, Xavier Nady and Mark Loretta each had three hits and every Padres’ starter had at least one.
San Diego had scored a total of 14 runs in its previous eight games, losing six.
The Padres improved to 4-0 this season against Atlanta, moved within a game of .500 (60-61) and pushed their lead in the NL West to four games over second-place Arizona. They swept a three-game series against the Braves in San Diego from May 16-18.
Asked about the possibility of facing the Braves in the playoffs, San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said, “That’d be nice. We’ll take any matchup, just like I’m sure they would.”
The Braves still lead the NL East by 4 1/2 games over Philadelphia and Florida, but are only 5-5 on their 12-game homestand.
Atlanta hopes left-hander Horacio Ramirez can help the team bounce back as he makes his return to the rotation on Saturday.
Ramirez’s banishment to the bullpen didn’t last long. Ramirez, who last started on Aug. 9, was roughed up in his first relief appearance of the season. He allowed six hits, five earned runs and two homers in 3 2-3 innings against Arizona on Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the rotation,” Ramirez said. “I’m really happy about that.”
“He’s back in the rotation,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He’s been a horse here.”
Ramirez has been very good at Turner Field this season, going 7-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 10 starts.