Truist Park- Atlanta, Georgia
The Padres entered Saturday looking to build on the momentum after their roller coaster victory on Friday night in Atlanta.
For the second straight game, the Padres and Braves met on national television as they were the featured Saturday afternoon game on FS1.
It was a battle of veteran starters as Sean Manaea squared off against Charlie Morton. The Braves greeted Manaea rudely in the first as Matt Olson launched his fourth home run of the season, giving the Braves an early 1-0 lead.
The Braves scratched across another run in the third on an Ozzie Albies double.
Otherwise, Manaea was nearly untouchable. He set a new season high for strikeouts by a Padres pitcher, whiffing 12 Braves over seven innings.
Sean Manaea had it going today. pic.twitter.com/nHujYDcYyf
— MLB (@MLB) May 14, 2022
Meanwhile, the Padres got on the board in the fifth with an RBI double by Trent Grisham. In the top of the eighth, the Padres tied it thanks to an error by first baseman Matt Olson. Grisham made it to second after a ground ball got past Olson. Jorge Alfaro then singled him gone to knot the game at two.
The Padres did not stop there, as the Braves gifted the Padres the lead with more poor defense. Manny Machado came up with the bases loaded and grounded a ball to Atlanta third baseman Austin Riley, who threw the ball into right field, allowing two runs to score. Eric Hosmer grounded into a fielder’s choice to score another run, extending San Diego’s lead to 5-2.
Padres take the lead in the 8th inning after a throwing error by Austin Riley pic.twitter.com/7dKl8QXLXY
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 14, 2022
Acting manager Ryan Christenson let Manaea go out for the eighth inning, despite being at 97 pitches. He walked the first batter and was removed in favor of Steven Wilson.
Wilson did not have his best stuff on Saturday.
After getting two outs, Wilson allowed a single to give the Braves a run and then a game-tying two-run homer by Marcell Ozuna. He then finished his outing by hitting a batter and allowing Austin Riley to double home the go-ahead run for Atlanta.
Despite Manaea’s seven solid innings, the bullpen crumbled, and the Braves sealed a 6-5 victory with closer Kenley Jansen effortlessly getting the final five outs of the game.
This is a troubling trend for the Padres. In a handful of games over the first six weeks of the season, the Padres seemingly had the game in hand before the bullpen gifted it back to the opponent. The team is in a tight spot at the moment, with manager Bob Melvin on the mend from surgery.
It’s games like this that make fans appreciate the calming presence Melvin can bring and wish for his quick return.