The Atlanta Braves have been red-hot at home and took full advantage of playing one of the majors’ worst road teams in their last series. They’ll have a chance to do it again as another team struggling to win away from home comes to Atlanta.
The Braves look to continue their surge at Turner Field and move above .500 for the first time in two weeks when they open a three-game series against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
Atlanta (15-15) is a major league-worst 4-11 on the road, but an NL-best 11-4 at home, including wins in 10 of its last 12 games at Turner Field.
The Braves are coming off a 14-7 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday to cap a three-game home sweep of the Reds, who have dropped 11 of their last 15 on the road.
Atlanta, which has not been over .500 since it was 10-9 on April 21, pounded out a season-high 19 hits on Sunday. The Braves have scored 32 runs during their four-game home winning streak.
“We’ve got to keep it going,” said Kelly Johnson, who was 4-for-6 with three doubles on Sunday. “We have the potential to have a lot of days like this.”
The Padres (12-20), meanwhile, are just 6-11 on the road, and have had a sputtering offense all season. San Diego has scored the second-fewest runs in the NL with 108, and has dropped four of six on its nine-game road trip.
The Padres lost for the 14th time in 18 games Sunday, 10-3 to Florida. Adrian Gonzalez hit his eighth homer of the season, and is 8-for-22 (.364) with four home runs and six RBIs in his last five games.
“I keep saying this, but we have to keep plugging along,” Gonzalez told the team’s official Web site. “We’ve got the right team. We’ve got the pitching to make it turn. We’ve got to do it now rather than later.”
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones hit his ninth homer of the season and drove in five runs on Sunday, finishing the series 7-for-13 (.538). Jones, who leads the majors with a .425 batting average, is 4-for-7 with a homer in his career against Tuesday’s scheduled starter Chris Young (2-2, 3.63 ERA).
Atlanta counters with rookie Jair Jurrjens (3-2, 3.05), who is making his first career start against the Padres.
Jurrjens is limiting opponents to a .193 batting average, and has given up two runs or fewer in four of his six outings. In his last three starts, the 22-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA, yielding only seven hits in 20 innings.
Jurrjens, acquired in the offseason deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Detroit, allowed one run, two hits and no walks in seven innings of a 3-2, 12-inning loss to Washington on Wednesday.
Young has been solid for the Padres, but San Diego’s offense has been most to blame for his lack of wins.
Young gave up two runs and five hits in six innings of a 4-2 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday, the right-hander’s first win since his first start of the year on April 1. He has allowed two runs or less in five of his six starts, but has received only 12 runs of support in those games.
In his only start against the Braves last season on May 7, Young allowed two runs, two hits and struck out eight in six innings of a 4-2 victory.
The Braves won five of seven over the Padres last season, and have won 13 of the last 17 meetings. San Diego lost three of four in Atlanta last year.