Rea, Kemp help lead Padres past Braves
SAN DIEGO -- Colin Rea won for the second time in as many Major League starts and Matt Kemp and Yonder Alonso each hit solo home runs Monday night as the Padres topped the Braves, 5-3, at Petco Park.
Rea, who won his big league debut on Aug. 11 against the Reds, allowed two earned runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.
"I thought he was better tonight," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said of Rea. "I thought he made pitches tonight. I am real pleased with what he did. He showed great poise, for the most part."
Braves center fielder Cameron Maybin had two hits -- including his career-best 10th home run of the season -- against his former team (2011-14) in his first game at Petco Park since being traded to Atlanta on April 5.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Showing off amongst friends: Maybin contributed to both of Atlanta's runs, as he singled and later scored on A.J. Pierzynski's sixth-inning single after opening the fourth inning with a solo shot that landed in the second deck beyond the left-field wall. The rejuvenated center fielder, who was traded to Atlanta in April, totaled five homers in the 652 at-bats he tallied at Petco Park while playing for the Padres.
"I've always been a guy that has had power, now it's starting to come out a little bit," said Maybin, who has hit .291 with seven homers and a .406 slugging percentage since becoming Atlanta's everyday center fielder on May 2. More >
Fast attack: After looking at six of the nine pitches Braves starter Williams Perez threw in the first inning, the Padres took a more aggressive approach as they tallied four hits and three runs before the second out was recorded in the bottom of the second inning. Will Venable's single would have only scored one run had catcher Pierzynski held on to the ball after tagging Derek Norris as the Padres' catcher slid toward the plate.
Kemp's home run in the fifth inning accounted for the only other run surrendered by Perez, who successfully adjusted after the second inning and completed 6 1/3 innings.
"From watching him, you would never know it's his first year in the big leagues, because he makes those adjustments and those in-game changes," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's got a nice feel for pitching."
Summer fun, summer runs: It was a slow start to 2015 for Kemp, who had two home runs in the Padres' first 65 games. After hitting a solo shot to right field in the fifth inning on Monday -- no easy feat for a right-handed batter at Petco Park -- Kemp now has 12 home runs in the team's last 53 games.
About that range: San Diego's Jedd Gyorko, who was making his first appearance at a shortstop as a professional, was tested several times Monday. He made a nice diving play on a ball hit up the middle by Pierzynski in the fourth inning, getting to his feet to make the throw to first base just in time for the out.
"It felt good. It felt more comfortable than I thought I would," said Gyorko, who last played the position in 2010 while at West Virginia University. "I think I did a good job to help us get by." More >
FLASHING THE LEATHER, PART 1
Michael Bourn further endeared himself to Atlanta's pitching staff Monday night when he turned what had the makings of being a Norris double into a double play in the sixth inning.
As Gonzalez was preparing to remove Perez, Bourn raced into left-center field, caught Norris' long drive on the warning track and then pushed himself off the outfield wall to position himself to throw the ball back toward the infield. Andrelton Simmons caught the relay and fired to first base to double up Gyorko, who had rounded second base with the assumption Norris had recorded an extra-base hit. More >
FLASHING THE LEATHER, PART 2
Along with his production at the plate, Justin Upton made the crowd at Petco roar in the eighth inning, as the left fielder came up with a big-time catch.
With relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit on the mound, Pedro Ciriaco hit the ball hard to left, forcing Upton to run backward and leap into the wall to make the grab for the first out of the inning.
"Upton's play was incredible," Murphy said. "Maybe a game-changer." More >
"I thought he was great. He told me he was going to be great. He's not short on confidence," -- Murphy on Gyorko's shortstop debut.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Maybin now has had multiple hits and at least one extra-base hit in five consecutive games. Hank Aaron (1971) and Kelly Johnson (2008) are the only other players in Atlanta history (since 1966) who have matched this stretch.
The bottom of the order came up big for the Padres on Monday, as No. 7 hitter Norris had an infield single that knocked in a run in the second inning, and No. 8 hitter Venable followed with a two-run single of his own as San Diego jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Braves: Matt Wisler will face his former organization for the first time when Atlanta and San Diego resume this three-game series on Tuesday at 10:10 p.m. ET. Wisler was one of the Padres' top prospects before being traded to Atlanta on April 5.
Padres: James Shields gets the start on Tuesday against the Braves at 7:10 p.m. PT. Shields won seven of his first 12 starts but has gone 1-5 with a 4.19 ERA over his last 13 outings.
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