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Padres chase Colon early to beat Braves

June 28, 2017

SAN DIEGO -- Manuel Margot was two years old when Bartolo Colon first set foot on a big league mound in April 1997. The Padres center fielder was the spark plug behind Colon's demise on Wednesday night.Margot ignited a trio of two-run rallies as the Padres made their early cushion

SAN DIEGO -- Manuel Margot was two years old when Bartolo Colon first set foot on a big league mound in April 1997. The Padres center fielder was the spark plug behind Colon's demise on Wednesday night.
Margot ignited a trio of two-run rallies as the Padres made their early cushion hold up in a 7-4 victory that snapped their nine-game losing streak against Atlanta. In his second game since returning from the disabled list, Margot walked in the first and singled in the third and fourth, scoring three times and adding a pair of stolen bases. Carlos Asuaje and Erick Aybar also chipped in three hits apiece, as the Padres built an early 6-0 lead on the strength of five two-out RBIs.
"We had continuous momentum going in and out of innings," Asuaje said. "We had good plays on defense, good pitching, and offensively we were stringing at-bats together well tonight. It felt like we were dominating, even though it was a closer game."

Asuaje hopes to stick wtih big league club
Those three rallies were enough to chase Colon after four innings, as he allowed at least six runs for the fourth consecutive start. In that time, Colon's ERA has skyrocketed to 8.14, the highest in baseball, leaving his future with the Braves in question.
"He had pretty good command overall," Braves catcher Tyler Flowers said. "He had a couple of untimely misses. There really weren't too many at-em balls. They found the holes."
Colon's future with Braves uncertain
On the flip side, the Padres feel as though Luis Perdomo has a very bright future. But the 24-year-old right-hander is still experiencing some growing pains when he's working through the order a third time. Perdomo pitched five scoreless frames and retired a batter in the sixth -- before allowing five straight hits and four runs once the lineup turned over again.

"You hate to see a guy that's throwing the ball that well, that efficiently run into that much trouble that quickly," said Padres manager Andy Green. "Because for 5 1/3, he was absolutely cruising."
Maton on a roll: After Perdomo's sixth-inning struggles, the Padres called on rookie right-hander Phil Maton with the tying run at the plate and the bases loaded. He plunked Flowers in the left forearm (and Flowers exited as a result). But Maton retired the next two hitters to escape the threat, punctuating the inning with a strikeout of Johan Camargo. He became the 13th Padres pitcher to open his career with nine straight scoreless outings. (The franchise record is 12 straight, set most recently by Ernesto Frieri.)
Ryan Buchter, Brad Hand and Brandon Maurer followed Maton by retiring all nine hitters they faced, ending the game without a hint of a late Braves rally.

"Outside of [the hit-by-pitch], Maton was great," Green said. "Buchter, Hand, Maurer were lights out tonight. That was a very efficient job by the three of them." 
Streaking Spangenberg: The Padres drew two walks in the top of the first inning, and Cory Spangenberg made certain Colon would pay. He smacked a liner out of the reach of Matt Kemp into the left-field corner. Both runs scored, giving the Padres an early advantage. In 21 games this month, Spangenberg is batting .314 with six extra-base hits.
Spangenberg's double came immediately after plate umpire Mike Winters ruled Hunter Renfroe checked his swing on a 3-2 pitch that could have resulted in Colon's third strikeout in what would have been a scoreless first inning.
"I thought he went to be honest," Colon said. "But you can't focus on that and the reality is I've been getting hit hard. That's the truth and you can't just dance around it."

"We put ourselves in position there. They don't stop and we were a hit away. We did climb back in it. It just didn't happen tonight." -- Braves manager Brian Snitker 
With his sixth-inning single, Brandon Phillips -- who turned 36 on Wednesday -- has now hit safely on his birthday in 11 consecutive games, dating back to 2006. 
The Braves unsuccessfully challenged Matthew Szczur violated the slide rule when he attempted to break up a double play after Allen Cordoba hit a one-out grounder to shortstop Camargo in the seventh inning. The call was confirmed, allowing the Padres to keep the run tallied when Aybar scored on Cordoba's fielder's choice.

Braves:Jaime Garcia will start the finale of this three-games set, which is scheduled to start Thursday at 9:05 p.m. ET. Garcia allowed four earned runs or fewer in his first 12 starts, but he has been charged with six earned runs in each of his past two outings. .
Padres:Dinelson Lamet starts Thursday night, when the Padres and Braves wrap up their three-game set at 6:10 p.m. PT. It's the seventh start for Lamet, who has posted consecutive quality outings after two previous outings in which he allowed seven runs.
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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.