Padres 4, Braves 2
ATLANTA (AP)—Chris Young insisted last year doesn’t matter, and he proved it Monday night.
Young put his 2006 struggles against the Braves behind him, striking out eight in six innings to lead the San Diego Padres over Atlanta 4-2.
Last year, Young went 0-1 against the Braves in two starts—both at San Diego—giving up 13 runs and 15 hits in six innings, a 19.50 ERA.
Young (4-2) allowed two runs and two hits in this one, walking two as the Padres won for the fifth time in six games.
“Last year was last year. It doesn’t matter,” Young said. “I felt good tonight. My fastball had a lot of life. I tried to establish it early.”
The 6-foot-10 right-hander struck out seven in the first four innings, allowing only one hit. Unbeaten in 25 straight road starts before losing at Los Angeles on April 15, Young is 2-2 away from home this season.
“When a guy’s that tall, they look like they’re releasing the ball right in your face,” Atlanta’s Chris Woodward said. “That makes it kind of tough, especially a guy who throws pretty hard. That’s why Randy Johnson was so good. He looks like he’s handing the ball to the catcher.”
Young has allowed five hits in his last two starts, including three hits over eight innings in a 3-0 win over Washington.
“He pitched great—again,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “He had the Braves off-balance. He only gave up two hits against a great lineup.”
Young felt confident leaving with a two-run lead.
“With our bullpen if you can turn it over with a lead, I’ll take my chances,” he said.
Chuck James (3-3) gave up two runs, three hits and four walks in 3 2-3 innings, the first time in seven starts this season he has not lasted five innings. James threw 94 pitches.
“We had some great at-bats,” Black said. “We laid off some good changeups. It wears down a starting pitcher when he has to make pitches.”
“That’s just part of the game,” Young said. “It’s a lot better than hitting one of our position players.”
Adrian Gonzalez homered in the second and Kevin Kouzmanoff made it 2-0 with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the fourth. After James reloaded the bases with a walk to Young, Oscar Villarreal relieved and got Marcus Giles to ground into a forceout.
Atlanta closed within a run in the bottom half after a walk, hit batter and balk, getting Scott Thorman’s RBI grounder and Woodward’s run-scoring triple.
Paronto forced in a run in the sixth with a bases-loaded walk to Jose Cruz Jr.
Braves SS Edgar Renteria was held out due to flu symptoms. Woodward was the fill-in starter, one day after he subbed for Chipper Jones at third base. … Gonzalez has 19 RBIs in his last 16 games. … Mike Cameron had two hits and his fourth stolen base. … Brian Giles stole his first base of the season.