The Padres go for a series win over the Atlanta Braves as they meet in their final game before the All-Star break on Sunday at Petco Park.
San Diego (49-37) had averaged just 2.9 runs in its previous 16 contests before beating the Braves 8-5 on Saturday. Mike Cameron and Khalil Greene each homered, while Kevin Kouzmanoff finished with three RBIs for the Padres, who scored their most runs since June 19.
Greene also drove home the go-ahead run in San Diego’s three-run seventh inning, and left fielder Milton Bradley played well in his first appearance eight days after being obtained in a trade with Oakland. The Padres are now an impressive 24-0 when scoring six or more runs.
They also snapped a four-game skid to the Braves (46-42) and won for just the second time in the last 10 meetings. San Diego overcame the ejection of starter David Wells in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes.
“We won, that’s the important thing. But it’s just tough to compromise your bullpen that early in the game,” said Wells, who had to be restrained by manager Bud Black, two coaches and catcher Josh Bard.
The bullpen has gotten a reprieve with Maddux (7-5, 3.96 ERA) on the mound as he has lasted at least six innings in seven consecutive starts. The right-hander spent 11 seasons in Atlanta from 1993-2003, going 194-88 with a 2.63 ERA.
He is 8-4 with a 4.12 ERA in 16 career games versus the Braves and 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in three starts since leaving them in 2003. The four-time NL Cy Young Award had a no-decision versus Atlanta on May 9, when he allowed just one run and three hits over 5 1-3 innings.
Maddux is trying to bounce back from a shaky start on Tuesday, when he gave up six runs and 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 6-4 defeat to Florida. He didn’t issue a walk and struck out five, but allowed more than three earned runs for the first time in eight games.
The 41-year-old will now try to slow former teammates Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones. Andruw Jones hit a two-run triple to tie the game at 5 on Saturday and had a two-run homer on Friday. He is batting .358 (19-for-53) with nine homers and 21 RBIs in 14 career games at Petco Park, while Chipper Jones is hitting .409 (18-for-44) there.
The Braves had a three-game winning streak snapped Saturday, but will try to get back on track when Kyle Davies (3-7, 5.85) takes the ball. The right-hander gave up five runs and six hits, including a homer, over two innings on Tuesday, but didn’t factor into the 7-6 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was his shortest outing of 2007 and his first start since leaving with a sore left oblique muscle on June 23.
“It was just one of those nights where he didn’t have it,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “His fastball wasn’t working for location or velocity. He’s just rusty, I guess. He hasn’t pitched in a long time. We gave him six runs in three innings and he just couldn’t get anything going.”
Davies, who has never faced the Padres, is 0-4 with an 8.06 ERA in his last five starts. He has given up four or more earned runs in eight of his 15 outings.