SAN DIEGO -- Sean Newcomb pitched six-plus scoreless frames and struck out a career-high eight Padres Tuesday night, sending the Braves to a series-opening 3-0 victory at Petco Park, their ninth straight against San Diego.In four outings since his early June callup, Newcomb has four quality starts, and he lowered
SAN DIEGO -- Sean Newcomb pitched six-plus scoreless frames and struck out a career-high eight Padres Tuesday night, sending the Braves to a series-opening 3-0 victory at Petco Park, their ninth straight against San Diego.
In four outings since his early June callup, Newcomb has four quality starts, and he lowered his ERA to 1.48. The rookie southpaw allowed six hits, while allowing only one walk.
"He was really good again," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He threw a lot of strikes and was on the attack. His breaking ball was good. It was just a really impressive outing."
• Newcomb continues to dazzle Snitker
On the other side, Padres right-hander Jhoulys Chacin continued to impress at Petco Park. He tossed seven innings of two-run ball to bring his home ERA to 1.83 (compared with a 9.08 mark on the road.) But Chacin was done in by Johan Camargo's two-run double in the top of the fourth.
"Camargo has been amazing," Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte said. "He's giving us really good at-bats every single day. You see him play and it's like a veteran playing the game. He's not putting any pressure on his shoulders. He's just coming to play and have fun."
The Braves tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when Inciarte led off with an infield hit and advanced around the bases on an error and two fly balls. That was plenty of cushion for a trio of relievers, who struck out six Padres over three innings.
Seven Friars went down looking on Tuesday night against -- in the words of Padres manager Andy Green -- "the largest strike zone I've ever seen against our guys." On the night, the Braves received 39 called strikes.
"These umpires are human," said Padres first baseman William Myers, who went 2-for-4. "They miss calls. Like I said before, I've missed some pitches right over the plate and fouled them off. It's no big deal if they miss one. Everybody's human."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Double the fun:Matt Adams doubled to open the fourth, and Tyler Flowers followed with a single. Two batters later Camargo sent them both home with a double into the left-center-field gap, barely out of the reach of the newly activated Manuel Margot. Camargo was thrown out at third on the play, but the Braves had their lead.
"I could've made a better pitch to [Camargo]," Chacin said. "After that, I was just trying to keep the game there, trying to go deep into the game."
Not quite: Myers came an inch from putting the Padres on top in the first inning. Heck, he may have been closer than that. Myers sent an opposite-field blast off the very top of the right-center-field wall, and he broke into a trot, believing the ball had left the yard. Instead, it ricocheted back into the field of play, and Myers settled for a double. A crew-chief's review confirmed the call on the field. More >
But replays appeared to show the ball hitting a separate padded area behind the initial fence. According to the Petco Park ground rules, "a batted ball in flight striking the top of the right field wall above/beyond the padding or scoreboard [is a] home run."
"I have no clue how New York interpreted it the way they did," Green said. "It's hard to even understand. It's frustrating for the team. It's frustrating for Wil. We're on top 1-0 at that point in time, and that ball is clearly a home run the way our ground rules are written. … Anything that clears that front part of the wall, lands on top, that's a home run. We have a very clear understanding of the ground rules in that way."
"Tyler Flowers, player of the game in my mind. He's snatching balls from below the zone, above the zone, outside the zone, bringing them back in, and getting strikes on all of them. That's tough." --Green on the Braves catcher's framing skills
"The guy just keeps going. Good for him. I'm happy as can be for him for what he's doing and what he brings to our team." -- Snitker on Inciarte, whose eighth-inning single made him the 35th player in Braves history to record 100 hits before the All-Star break
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
On the way to becoming the first player in Atlanta Braves history to open a career with four consecutive quality starts, Newcomb recorded 25 called strikes, 21 of which were fastballs. He hadn't recorded more than 12 called strikes with his fastball during any of his previous three starts.
Matt Kemp strode into the Petco Park batter's box for the first time as a Brave in the top of the first inning. Having spent parts of two seasons in San Diego, Kemp's return sparked a chorus of boos and a smaller smattering of applause. He finished the night 0-for-4, but made a leaping catch at the left-field wall, robbing Erick Aybar of extra bases in the fourth.
Braves:Bartolo Colon will take the mound when this three-game series resumes Wednesday at 10:10 p.m. ET. Colon has been on the disabled list for the past three weeks with a strained left oblique. He limited the Padres to one run over seven innings on April 16, but has posted a 9.21 ERA in the nine starts that have followed.
Padres:Luis Perdomo is looking to add to his recent success Wednesday when he takes the mound for the middle game against Atlanta. He tossed six scoreless innings against Detroit on Friday and has posted quality outings in five of his last six starts. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. PT.
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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.