Although the San Diego Padres are among the worst home teams in the NL, they haven’t resembled one against the Atlanta Braves.
The Padres go for a 10th straight home victory over the Braves in the finale of this three-game set at Petco Park on Wednesday.
San Diego (58-62) is 28-29 at home after posting a 48-33 mark last year, which ranked behind only three teams tied for the league’s best record.
The Padres’ home struggles, however, haven’t hampered their dominance of the Braves (53-66), who lost 5-3 in Monday’s opener before getting pounded 9-0 a day later.
Melvin Upton Jr. did most of the damage against his former team Tuesday, going 3 for 4 with two homers and five RBIs – both season highs. He started in center after San Diego traded Will Venable to Texas, but he’s hitting just .242 in his first year with the club.
"I didn’t see that coming, but I felt pretty good at the plate," Upton said. "Obviously the situation that me and Will were kind of alternating, that’s tough for anybody, especially when you’re accustomed to playing every day. I’ve been working hard and grinding.
"I felt this is a product of the work I’ve put in and my hitting coach has been behind me. I believe in what I’m doing. It was just good to show a flash of it."
Upton hasn’t shown the same flash at pitcher-friendly Petco, compiling a .208 average and six RBIs in 22 games.
Tyson Ross (8-9, 3.40 ERA) is having his own trouble there with a 4.40 ERA in 10 starts compared to a 2.71 mark and 5-3 record in 15 on the road.
The right-hander gave up seven runs with 16 strikeouts in 12 2-3 innings in his last two home starts, which ended in losses to Miami and Philadelphia – owners of two of the worst records in baseball.
Ross had a tough time with another struggling team Friday, giving up four runs – two earned – with five strikeouts and three walks in five innings while not getting a decision in a 9-5 win at Colorado.
He’s 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the Braves after allowing three runs – two earned – in six innings of a 4-1 loss at Atlanta on June 10.
Ross has limited Freddie Freeman to a 1-for-6 performance at the plate with two strikeouts, and the first baseman is slated to return from a strained left oblique that’s sidelined him since Aug. 3. He has hit .375 over his last 16 meetings with San Diego.
Julio Teheran (8-6, 4.44) takes the mound looking to improve on his 2-5 record and 6.75 ERA in 12 road starts. However, the right-hander allowed two runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 6-2 win at Philadelphia on Aug. 2.
That’s part of a three-start stretch – all Atlanta wins – during which he’s gone 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA. Teheran allowed one run with seven strikeouts in six innings of Friday’s 3-2 win over Arizona.
"I feel better," Teheran said. "I’ve been working really hard. I feel like right now, I’m where I want to be. I’ve been working for this and just trying to be consistent."
He’s 1-2 with a 5.26 ERA in four career starts against the Padres, but this will mark his first outing at Petco since surrendering five runs and two homers in six innings of a loss on June 10, 2013.