Padres stymie Braves behind Waldron’s 10 K outing

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo

After dropping a series to the Rockies, the San Diego Padres headed to Atlanta to battle the Braves.

The Padres’ offense, despite early missed opportunities, was able to break through against a fatiguing Max Fried to take a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning, and they would never look back, winning on the road  

Entering the game, the Braves had been 15-5 when playing a home game, while San Diego was 12-8 on the road so far this season.

Padres skipper Mike Shildt made some changes to his lineup, dropping Manny Machado to the five spot. It was the first time all season Machado was not batting cleanup in a game he played. Offensively, the Padres started 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position, but they would get two hits with RISP courtesy of the red-hit Jurickson Profar and Jake Cronenworth. Manny Machado would hit a sharp grounder to short at 94.2 mph, but the turn would take Matt Olson off the bag, scoring a third run. 

On the mound for San Diego was Matt Waldron, coming off a two-run outing against the Dodgers.

Waldron would start off shaky, surrendering a run in the first, but would settle down afterward, finishing his outing at 5.2 innings, allowing one run on five hits and walking two. Despite allowing seven base runners, Waldron would strike out a season-high ten batters in his outing, with five of those coming off the knuckleball. Waldron has now surrendered three earned runs over his last 11 innings, recording 16 strikeouts in the process. After these outings, Waldron seems to finding a groove at the right time. 

The San Diego bullpen would do its job after Waldron departed, with Yuki Matsui and Enyel De Los Santos finishing the sixth and seventh innings.

Mike Shildt made an interesting decision entering the bottom of the eighth, electing to bring in closer Robert Suarez against the heart of the Braves lineup, and while the Braves would record two hits, Suarez would punch out Michael Harris to exit the jam. Suarez’s trail of fastballs would consist of 14 out of 17 pitches thrown, with his two strikeouts coming on that “f it, hit this” fastball. 

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The Padres turned to Jeremiah Estrada for the save, fitting as Estrada had been closing games down on the farm. For his first save opportunity in MLB this season, Estrada wouldn’t do anything too crazy, just strike out the side, with swinging strikeouts coming off the fastball and a backward K off a splitter. This outing would be Estrada’s seventh scoreless outing in eight games this season, and hitters are now only hitting .111 off him for the year. 

Xander Bogaerts, Jackson Merrill, and Jurickson Profar would each have two-hit games, with Jake Cronenworth recording three hits in the game. 

The Padres look to keep the road vibes going tomorrow at 4:15 pm, with Yu Darvish taking the bump against Bryce Elder. The game will be on national television via Fox, with 97.3 The Fan still holding its radio broadcast. 

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