Padres 7, Braves 2, 13 innings
ATLANTA (AP)—Joey Devine was one pitch away from a memorable big league debut.
Then Xavier Nady made it a day for the rookie to forget.
Nady hit his first career grand slam off Devine with two outs in the 13th inning to lead the San Diego Padres past Atlanta 7-2 on Saturday, handing the Braves their third straight loss at Turner Field.
Devine (0-1), the Braves’ first-round pick in the June draft, was called up from Double-A Mississippi, took an early morning flight to Atlanta and got into his first game on 45 minutes sleep.
The right-hander pitched a scoreless 12th and was on the verge of escaping a bases-loaded jam in the 13th, pushing the count to 1-2 on Nady with a steady stream of fastballs clocked as high as 96 mph.
With the crowd roaring—including Devine’s father, sitting behind home plate wearing a red N.C. State T-shirt—the rookie left a fastball over the plate. Nady sent a 415-foot drive into the center-field seats.
“I knew I had hit it good,” said Nady, who was hitless in his first five at-bats. “I looked up as I rounded first base, and when I saw it was out, I was beside myself. The best part was looking in the dugout and seeing their reaction.”
Devine wanted to throw a high fastball to Nady.
“I didn’t get it up in the zone enough,” the rookie said. “It was pretty much right down Broadway. I felt strong. I was just one pitch away from getting out of that inning.”
“You’ve got to overcome adversity if you’re going to be a successful player,” Devine said. “I’ll come to the ballpark tomorrow with a smile on my face.”
Nady was the only hitter to face Devine twice, leading off the 12th with a weak grounder to the pitcher.
“That definitely helped,” Nady said. “The second at-bat, you know what he has.”
First-place Atlanta has its first three-game home losing streak. Overall, it’s only the third time the Braves have lost three in a row.
“We better get it turned around quick,” Chipper Jones said. “We need to pitch better and hit better. About the only thing we’re doing is playing defense.”
The Braves have struggled against the Padres, losing all five meetings this season. San Diego will try to complete another three-game sweep Sunday night, the final regular-season meeting between the teams.
“We know how good a team they have,” said San Diego manager Bruce Bochy, whose NL West-leading team climbed back to .500 (61-61). “Some things are hard to explain. There are some teams we should have a better record against and don’t.”
Rudy Seanez (5-1) got the win with a scoreless 12th.
Damian Jackson led off with a double and scored on Mark Loretta’s sacrifice fly, just beating Jeff Francoeur’s strong throw to the plate from right field. The Padres put together two more hits in the first, but the Braves escaped a bigger deficit when Nady grounded out.
Astacio breezed through the first five innings, giving up four hits and benefiting from a couple of double plays.
“I had a lot of situations where I had guys on base, and I had to make a good pitch,” he said.
He didn’t make a good one to Rafael Furcal, who led off the sixth with a drive off the right-field foul pole for his 11th homer. The Braves added another run on Francoeur’s run-scoring single with two outs.
The rookie sensation had three more hits, raising his average to .379.
Ramirez recovered from his shaky start, allowing only one hit and two walks over the next 5 1-3 innings. But Olivo tied the game at 2 in the seventh, hitting a one-out homer into the left-field seats.
Ramirez went eight innings, giving up six hits and two runs. Astacio was lifted for a pinch-hitter after the sixth, having also allowed a pair of runs on seven hits.
Braves CF Andruw Jones, who leads the majors in home runs, didn’t start but was used as a pinch-hitter. He flied out to center in the 10th. … The Padres improved to 5-7 in extra-inning games, while the Braves dropped to 4-4. … Nady’s grand slam was the second of the season for the Padres. Ryan Klesko hit one at Colorado on July 8. … Devine got his first career at-bat, striking out attempting to bunt in the 12th.