Cahill to come off DL to pitch for Padres in Atlanta
ATLANTA — After beating one former Atlanta teammate in the opener for SunTrust Park, the Braves will face another on Sunday.
Trevor Cahill, who missed one start because of a lower back strain, will come off the 10-day disabled list and face the Braves for the San Diego Padres in the third game at the new ballpark.
Bartolo Colon, who struggled at Miami in his second start after an impressive first outing back in New York against the Mets, will start for the Braves, who have won three straight and lead the four-game series with the Padres 2-0.
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The Braves are 4-6 after a 1-6 start, while the Padres (5-7) have lost three in a row.
Cahill, like Friday’s Padres starter Jhoulys Chacin, had a brief and not very successful stint with Atlanta, going 0-3 with a 7.52 ERA in 15 games (three starts) before being released in 2015.
Cahill, 29, was 4-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 49 relief appearances and one start for the Chicago Cubs last season prior to signing with the Padres as a free agent over the winter.
The right-hander allowed three runs (two earned) over 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Dodgers in Los Angeles on April 5 and experienced back soreness a couple days later. When it hadn’t subsided by last Sunday, the Padres decided to take advantage of the change in the disabled list timetable and have him skip a start.
“That’s kind of where the 10-day DL changes things contextually from what’s occurred in the past,” manager Andy Green said. “Now you have a starter, who, just because he’s a little banged up, you don’t have to put him out there. You can make a roster move and bring him back for the next one.”
Cahill (0-1, 3.18 ERA) threw 99 pitches against the Dodgers, his most since the 2014 season. He allowed five hits, walked three and struck out seven.
Colon started and pitched three innings in an exhibition game at SunTrust Park — his 45th major league ballpark — to close spring training, so he’ll be familiar with the mound and environment.
“You take it all in,” the veteran said through a translator. “It’s just kind of cool to be pitching in a new ballpark like this.”
Colon, who turns 44 in May, was sharp against his old team in New York on April 5, allowing just a run and two hits over six innings in a no-decision against the Mets.
Colon (0-1, 6.30 ERA) struggled at Miami on Tuesday, though. The right-hander gave up seven hits and six runs over four innings in the loss.
Colon was 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA for the Mets last season before signing with the Braves as a free agent, but was hit hard in a start at Miami last August.
“Last year, the last time I faced (the Marlins), they kind of got into a good rhythm against me and hit me pretty well,” Colon said after losing in Miami. “What else can I say, they got the better of me.”
Colon, who has a 233-163 career record over 20 seasons, beat San Diego last year, allowing three runs over 6 2/3 innings, and is 3-3 with a 4.12 ERA in seven career starts against the Padres.
Cahill has never beaten the Braves, one of the five teams he has pitched for while recording a 69-77 record. He is 0-3 with an 8.47 ERA in three starts and two relief appearances against Atlanta.
Zach Lee, who was recalled by the Padres from Triple-A El Paso when Cahill went on the DL, will work out of the bullpen in long relief despite 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a victory at Colorado last Wednesday.
Jered Weaver will start the series finale at Atlanta on Monday and Jarred Cosart, filling in for the sidelined Luis Perdomo, will start against Arizona in San Diego on Tuesday.