The Braves (6-6) defeated the Padres 2-0 on Saturday behind John Smoltz’s complete game.
Smoltz helped the Braves to consecutive wins for the first time this season and became the first Atlanta starting pitcher to earn a win in 2006. He had four strikeouts and allowed four hits while throwing only 103 pitches.
“I would say normally it’s no big deal but when you’ve dealt with what we’ve dealt with over the last week and a half … this hopefully will get guys thinking more positively,” Smoltz said.
The Braves have not swept a series with the Padres since taking a four-game set at San Diego from May 15-18, 2003.
John Thomson attempts to complete the sweep when he takes the mound for his second start of the season.
The right-hander has a 2.08 ERA and eight strikeouts in 8 2-3 innings this season, including two relief appearances. He allowed one unearned run and six hits in five innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday in his first start.
He has faced the Padres only once in the last four seasons, allowing one run in 4 1-3 innings and not factoring in the decision of a 5-3 loss on May 16, 2005.
The Braves will be without Edgar Renteria, who strained his left rib cage swinging at strike three in the sixth inning of Saturday’s win. He is listed as day-to-day.
“We’re going to wait definitely a couple of days,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He’s too good not to wait at least a day or two.”
The Padres (3-7) are off to their worst start since 1994, when they went 1-9 in their first 10 contests and finished 47-70 in the strike-shortened season.
San Diego will start 14-year veteran Woody Williams, who is looking for his second win of the season.
He won his last outing, giving up three runs and five hits in five innings of a 9-3 win over the Florida Marlins on Tuesday.
Williams did not face the Braves in 2005, but is 4-1 against them with a 1.94 ERA in seven career starts. He has had success against Atlanta’s Andrew Jones, striking him out seven times and allowing only three hits in 21 at-bats for a .143 batting average.
Another veteran San Diego player, 37-year-old catcher Mike Piazza, is struggling at the plate, going 7-for-31 (.226) with one home run and three RBIs in eight games. His homer came in the first game of the season and he has gone 2-for-12 (.167) in his last three contests.
The 12-time All-Star has only two hits in his last 23 at-bats at Turner Field.