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Padres complete sweep of Braves

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres shrugged off a recent rash of injuries and made the Atlanta Braves' visit to Petco Park a painful one.

Edinson Volquez bounced back from a mediocre outing in Colorado, and the Padres capped a sweep of the Braves with a 5-3 victory Wednesday before 22,316 fans.

"We've got a lot of depth (and) a lot of guys who can step in and do the job when we need to," said outfielder Chris Denorfia, who homered in the win. "We're probably stretched a little thin right now but the guys that are in there are big leaguers and ready to contribute."

Volquez (5-5) gave up a run and scattered six hits with three walks. He produced a much-improved performance from the one he gave against the Rockies, when he was drilled for a career-high nine runs on 11 hits in a no-decision on Friday.

"A lot of work between starts with (pitching coach Darren Balsley)," said Volquez, who earned his second win in six career starts against the Braves. "He's a very smart guy. I brought all of the good things in the bullpen to the game and everything was working today.

"I just wanted to keep the ball down. And I got good movement on the fastball."

The Padres swept the series despite playing without first baseman Yonder Alonso, second baseman Jedd Gyorko, centerfielder Cameron Maybin and closer Huston Street, who all went on the disabled list this month with an assortment of injuries. But that didn't slow San Diego.

"You look at the lineup with the homers and the damage they can do, and it's a very threatening lineup," manager Bud Black said of the Braves. "And they've played well all year. They're a really good team and a solid organization. So to win three games is a huge pat on the back to our guys."

Denorfia's two-run homer, on a 3-2 pitch in the fifth off lefty Paul Maholm, turned out to be the difference in the series finale. Logan Forsythe also drove in a pair of runs for the Padres (32-34), who won their 18th decision in the last 25 games at Petco and sent the Braves (39-27) to their fifth setback in the past seven contests.

"We thought we did all we could," Braves outfielder Justin Upton said. "We swung the bats well, we played solid defense. Sometimes the game doesn't go your way, and it didn't work out for us."

Nick Vincent struck out Upton looking with runners at first and third in the ninth inning to record his first save.

"They had some outfield hits that fell in, some infield hits that kept things going and their starting pitching threw well enough to stay in the game pretty long," Braves outfielder Jason Heyward said of the Padres. "We fought but sometimes a little too late.

"We hit some balls hard. Some hops didn't go our way. I'm not too worried about this team in terms of scoring runs."

Maholm (7-6) allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts. He also hit a batter.

The Padres tagged Maholm for three runs in the first. Kyle Blanks drew a bases-loaded walk and Forsythe bounced a two-run single to center to score Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin with one out.

Atlanta cut the lead with a run in the third on Upton's bloop single to left, scoring Simmons with one out. But with runners at first and third, Freddie Freeman grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Maholm retired 12 straight batters before Everth Cabrera reached on an infield single. Denorfia followed with his homer to left, his fourth of the season, for a 5-1 Padres lead.

Upton, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, clubbed his 15th home run in the eighth, a deep shot to left that traveled an estimated at 430 feet. Pinch-hitter Jordan Schafer singled home a run in the ninth for Atlanta's final run.

NOTES: The Padres will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the 1998 National League championship club in a pregame ceremony before Friday night's game. ... The Padres have won five in a row and are 9-4 against the National League East. ... OF Jaff Decker was called up from Triple-A Tucson after Maybin was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 10, with a left knee sprain. ... Heyward extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a double in the third inning. ... Cabrera stole his National League-leading 30th base in the fifth inning. ... After a day off Thursday, the Padres will host the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three-game series beginning Friday.
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