The Atlanta Braves’ first series sweep of the season came at the expense of the reigning World Series champions.
Visiting the punchless San Diego Padres may help them prolong their winning streak.
Atlanta looks to get back to .500 and continue its success at Petco Park in the opener of a three-game series against the last-place Padres on Monday night.
The Braves (11-12) began their 10-game road trip by dropping three of four in Los Angeles before putting together their most impressive series of the young season, sweeping a three-game set at San Francisco.
The Braves, who are also riding their first three-game winning streak of 2011, now have a chance to climb back to .500 for the first time since they were 4-4.
The Braves have reason to be confident against the Padres (8-14). Atlanta has won 12 of its last 16 games at Petco, batting .301 with 25 homers in those contests.
Jones has a .397 average with three homers, 18 runs scored and 11 walks over the last 16 games in San Diego. McCann has been even better, batting .412 with four homers and 20 RBIs in his last 15 contests there.
Atlanta starter Derek Lowe(notes) (2-3, 3.25 ERA) could stand to have Jones, McCann and the rest of the Braves hit better when it’s his turn in the rotation. The right-hander has received a total of seven runs of support through five starts.
Lowe didn’t do much to help himself in Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to the Dodgers. He surrendered five runs and nine hits in three innings, equaling the total runs he’d given up over his previous four outings.
The sinkerballer is 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA in his last three starts against the Padres, and he appears to have a good chance for similar success Monday. San Diego’s .212 team batting average is the lowest in the majors.
The Padres (8-14), tied with Houston for the worst record in the NL, totaled three runs, batted .165 and got shut out twice during a four-game weekend sweep at the hands of Philadelphia.
“We’ve got to keep working, and we’ve got to grind through this,” manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official website. “We’ve got to keep doing our work in the cage and watching video. We have to keep working our (rear ends) off to get to where we need to be.”
Probable starter Dustin Moseley(notes) (0-3, 1.40) is all too familiar with San Diego’s offensive shortcomings. The Padres have yet to score a single run for the right-through four starts. He allowed one unearned run and five hits in six innings at Chicago on Wednesday, a game San Diego eventually lost 2-1 in 11 innings.
“It’s frustrating, but you go out there and do your job and leave it up to the hitters,” Moseley told the Padres’ official website. “These guys will start scoring 10 runs a game for me. I look forward to them getting their swings and confidence back.”