Padres-Braves Preview

The Associated Press

Paul Maholm seems to have made a seamless adjustment since joining the Atlanta Braves.

Perhaps the change in scenery will also result in a first victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night when the teams continue their four-game set.

Acquired from the Chicago Cubs before the trade deadline, Maholm (10-7, 3.50 ERA) is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in his two starts with Atlanta. The latter outing was quite impressive - a 95-pitch, three-hit shutout of the New York Mets on the road Friday in a 4-0 victory.

"It's pretty good to get off to a good start when you come over to a new team," Maholm told the team's official website. "To get the first win out of the way, obviously with it being a complete game, it's fun."

The left-hander is 6-1 with a 1.18 ERA over his last eight starts. For Maholm, though, victories over San Diego (52-66) have proven elusive - he went 0-4 with a 4.86 ERA in five lifetime starts versus the Padres while pitching for Pittsburgh and has not faced them in 2012.

Atlanta (67-49) remained atop the NL wild-card chase after a 6-0 victory Tuesday night. Tim Hudson extended his personal winning streak to six games while combining with three relievers on a five-hitter as the Braves avoided a third straight loss.

"There's no one else I'd rather have out there than Huddy,'' second baseman Dan Uggla said. ''Anytime we put him out there in a situation where we need a win, he's going to come through.''

Martin Prado also came through with a three-run homer to put away the game and is 6 for 12 with two doubles, one triple and one homer and six RBIs while posting three straight multihit games.

Prado has never faced Padres scheduled starter Edinson Volquez (7-8, 4.03), but he may be able to take advantage of the struggling right-hander. Volquez has a 13.50 ERA over his last three starts, giving up 15 runs and 15 hits while walking 11 in 10 innings as his ERA has climbed nearly three-quarters of a run.

The offense bailed him out Friday at Pittsburgh, where he left after being tagged for six runs and seven hits - two of them home runs - and four walks in 3 1-3 innings before San Diego rallied for a 9-8 win.

"I think it's a mechanical issue, I really do," manager Bud Black told the team's website. "I think it starts with his stride, his stride direction and stride length, which I think has gotten away from him."

Volquez is 1-2 with a 2.86 ERA in four lifetime starts against the Braves, whom he has not faced since 2010. Catcher Brian McCann, who is 4 for 31 (.129) in 10 games this month, is 3 for 7 with one double and one homer lifetime versus Volquez.

San Diego has been shut out 10 times and last failed to score runs in back-to-back games May 26-27 against the Mets at Citi Field.

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