Braves 7, Padres 4
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Andruw Jones seems to have a better time hitting at Petco Park than the home team does.
Jones hit another big homer at San Diego’s downtown ballpark and had three RBIs, and Buddy Carlyle pitched eight strong innings against his former team as the Atlanta Braves beat the Padres 7-4 on Friday night.
Jones hit a two-run homer off Justin Germano (5-3) in a three-run fourth and added an RBI single in the four-run fifth, when the right-hander was chased without getting an out.
It was Jones’ 15th homer this season and ninth overall at Petco Park, the most by any visiting hitter at the stadium, which opened in 2004.
Last July 15, Jones hit a 453-foot shot, at the time the longest at Petco Park. San Diego’s Russell Branyan hit a 453-foot homer on Sept. 24.
“I like it,” Jones said. “I don’t know, I just feel comfortable seeing the ball. Guys make mistakes and you take advantage of it.”
The Padres, who might activate switch-hitter Milton Bradley from the disabled list on Saturday, often struggle at home. They’re batting just .230 at Petco this season, with 35 homers.
The Braves beat the Padres for the fourth straight time this season. Overall, Atlanta won its third straight game while the NL West-leading Padres lost for the fourth time in six games.
Carlyle (3-2), who made his big league debut with San Diego in 1999, went a career-high eight innings and matched his career best with seven strikeouts. He allowed three runs and eight hits while walking one. Carlyle also hit an RBI single.
“He came up with a gem,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He’s sneaky quick. A lot of guys don’t have good hacks at him. He gets it by them.”
Padres second baseman Marcus Giles, who used to play for the Braves, agreed.
“He was sneaky. Slow, slow, then quick at the last second,” Giles said. “He was quicker than we expected.”
With their bullpen taxed, the Braves needed a starter to go deep.
It looked as though the Padres had found their lost offense when they took a 2-0 lead in the first against Carlyle, who is with his seventh organization. Michael Barrett hit an RBI single and Khalil Greene drove in a run on a grounder.
The Padres had only three baserunners the next five innings, though, and two were erased on double plays. Carlyle struck out the side on nine pitches in the fourth.
“I was just able to get ahead of guys a little bit better,” he said.
Kelly Johnson had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run for the Braves.
Germano lost his third straight decision. He allowed seven runs and 10 hits, both season highs, while striking out two and walking two.
With Chipper Jones aboard on a leadoff single, Andruw Jones drove a 2-2 hanging curveball into the left-field seats.
“I tried to make a too-perfect pitch and left it up,” Germano said. “You can’t do that with him.”
Johnson followed with a single and eventually scored on Carlyle’s two-out single to center.
Germano allowed the first four Braves batters to reach in the fifth, and all of them scored. Andruw Jones hit an RBI single and Johnson a run-scoring double to chase Germano. Justin Hampson relieved and allowed Jeff Francoeur’s RBI single before getting Jarrod Saltalamacchia to force Francoeur for the first out. Scott Thorman followed with a sacrifice fly.
Padres manager Bud Black said it’s possible Bradley will be activated before Saturday afternoon’s game, when the Padres will be facing lefty Jo-Jo Reyes, who will be making his big league debut. … The last pitcher to strike out the side on nine pitches was Rick Helling for Milwaukee on June 20, 2006, against Cincinnati. … Saltalamacchia, the Braves’ catcher, was hit on the left temple by a foul ball by pinch-hitter Hiram Bocachica in the seventh and left the game. Saltalamacchia was replaced by All-Star Brian McCann. … McCann was scratched Thursday night in Los Angeles due to a sprained right knee, but Cox said before the game that he was available. McCann had an MRI that showed no structural damage. … The Braves placed pitcher John Smoltz on the 15-day DL after an MRI found inflammation—but apparently no structural damage—in his right shoulder. … Reyes was a combined 10-1 with a 3.08 ERA in 17 starts with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Richmond. Reyes is from Riverside, Calif.