Braves 2, Padres 1

Guy Curtright, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman is heading toward the postseason on a roll. So is Kris Medlen.
Freeman was 3-for-3 with his 21st home run and Medlen pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings for his fourth straight victory as the Atlanta Braves defeated the San Diego Padres 2-1 before a crowd of 40,153 at Turner Field on Saturday night.
Craig Kimbrel allowed a leadoff homer to Chase Headley in the ninth inning, but the closer stranded a runner at second base after a walk and stolen base for his 47th save of the season and 37th consecutive conversion.
Medlen (14-12) allowed just four hits -- all singles -- while striking out five and walking two. The right-hander threw 72 of his 110 pitches for strikes on his way to winning for the eighth time in 10 decisions.
Freeman, who has 99 RBIs to go with his .314 average, has hit in 12 of his past 13 games and is batting .396 (19-for-48) during the red-hot stretch. His perfect night against the Padres, which included a walk, was his third multi-hit game in a row and his 47th of the season.
The victory was the Braves' first after four losses against the Padres and reduced their magic number for clinching the National League East to five games pending the outcome of second-place Washington's game with Philadelphia.
Medlen is 13-6 since starting the season 1-6 and has taken over the team lead with his 14 victories. He has allowed just three runs over 27 2/3 innings in his four straight victories.
Padres rookie left-hander Robbie Erlin (2-3) allowed eight hits and two runs in six innings. The 22-year-old walked one and struck out three.
Erlin, making his seventh major-league start, hadn't pitched since Sept. 3 when he allowed two runs in 5 1/3 in a no-decision against the San Francisco Giants. His only road victory had come in his previous start at Arizona on Aug. 28 when he limited the Diamondbacks to one run in six innings.
Held to one run in the first three innings by Erlin, the Braves took the lead in the fourth. Justin Upton and Freeman opened the inning with back-to-back singles and Chris Johnson came through with an RBI single into left field on a 1-0 curveball.
The Braves almost made it 2-0 in the fifth with another two-out hit. Elliot Johnson, though, was thrown out at the plate by right fielder Chris Denorfica after a single by Upton. Johnson had singled and stolen second base.
Freeman picked on a 1-0 fastball from Erlin leading off the sixth inning and went the other way with a drive that just cleared the fence in left-center field to put the Braves up by two runs.
Headley's homer in the ninth off Kimbrel came on a 1-1 fastball and was his 12th of the season and second in two games.
NOTES: Padres radio broadcaster Jerry Coleman turned 89 on Saturday. The 1950 World Series MVP for the New York Yankees is in his 41st season calling Padres games. ... Braves OF Jason Heyward, who suffered a fractured jaw on July 21, took batting practice for a second straight day and may be ready for instructional league games in Florida by the end of next week. He hopes to make it back before the end of the season. ... RHP Julio Teheran (12-8, 3.05 ERA) will start for the Braves against fellow rookie RHP Burch Smith (0-1, 9.17) of the Padres in Sunday's series finale. ... The Padres won two one-run games and a two-run game in sweeping the Braves in San Diego, June 10-12.

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