Padres 3, Braves 0
From his father sitting in the stands to his six strong innings
to his single up the middle, it would have been hard for Casey
Kelly to have a more impressive major league debut.
Kelly combined with three relievers on a four-hitter and Yasmani
Grandal hit a two-run homer for the San Diego Padres, who beat the
Atlanta Braves 3-0 on Monday night to extend their season-high
streak to eight straight wins.
The 22-year-old Kelly was the key player among the four obtained
from the Boston Red Sox in the trade for Adrian Gonzalez on Dec. 6,
What made it more than the usual dream come true was that
Kelly’s father, Pat, was able to attend, along with about 25 other
Pat Kelly is manager of the Billings Mustangs, the Cincinnati
Reds’ rookie-level club. The Mustangs played in Ogden, Utah, on
Sunday and were off Monday, allowing him to fly to San Diego and
watch his son pitch. Monday was Pat Kelly’s 57th birthday
”It’s incredible that it happened, just it being his birthday
and then them having an off day on the same day that I’m
pitching,” Casey Kelly said. ”That just doesn’t happen in
baseball. So it’s really special that he got to be here to see
”It was great to watch, but it’s tough being a dad,” Pat Kelly
said. ”I would much rather have been in the dugout. It was a
little nerve-racking. He was fantastic. He had all his pitches
working and he made quality pitches when he had to. It was fun to
Pat Kelly played in three games with Toronto in 1980. His career
as a minor league manager – including with the Braves’ Triple-A
club – allowed Casey to grow up around the game.
Kelly (1-0), promoted from Double-A San Antonio earlier Monday,
allowed three hits in six innings, struck out four and walked
Kelly also got his first big league hit, a single up the middle
with two outs in the fifth. The Padres loaded the bases before
Chase Headley struck out.
Kelly allowed a double down the right-field line to Jason
Heyward with two outs in the first and then got Chipper Jones to
line out to Headley at third. Kelly walked Freddie Freeman leading
off the second and then allowed Dan Uggla’s one-out single before
retiring the next two batters.
The Braves hit into double plays in each of the next two
innings, one of which was started by Kelly, and the right-hander
then had a 1-2-3 fifth and sixth.
”It’s like a blur,” Kelly said. ”They’re a great team. I had
to keep the streak alive. I didn’t want to break up the streak or I
might get sent down.”
Kelly was out from April 12-July 23 with a strained right
”It came quick,” Kelly said. ”Just from the beginning of the
year, my goal was to come up here. The injury was something that
kind of put a hold on everything. I was just focused on coming back
healthy and throwing good off the mound. Once I got the call I was
very, very excited.”
Said Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez: ”Casey was good. He kept
his composure for a young kid. He did a nice job. He did a lot of
good things. He gave them some innings to win the game.”
Grandal drove in all three runs for San Diego. He homered to
left off Paul Maholm for a 2-0 lead in the second, his sixth.
Carlos Quentin was aboard on a leadoff walk.
”I was trying to bounce it,” Maholm said. ”It was in and was
just up. He was able to get the barrel on it and capitalize.”
Grandal singled in Headley in the eighth inning before getting
thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
Luke Gregerson pitched the ninth for his second save in five
Maholm (11-9) allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings,
struck out five and walked one.
San Diego’s winning streak is its longest since April 16-24,
Padres manager Bud Black said Kelly was poised in his debut and
will start again Sunday.
His father, meanwhile, will jump on a plane Tuesday morning and
fly to Montana, arriving in Billings ”just in time for batting
NOTES: To make room for Kelly, the Padres optioned RHP Brad
Boxberger to Triple-A Tucson and transferred C Nick Hundley to the
60-day DL. Hundley is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday to repair
torn a meniscus in his right knee. Hundley was placed on the DL on
Aug. 17, retroactive to Aug. 16. He was batting .157 with three
homers and 22 RBIs in 58 games with the Padres. He was optioned to
Triple-A Tucson on June 30 and recalled Aug. 9. … The Padres
reinstated RHP Dale Thayer from the paternity list and optioned LHP
Josh Spence to Tucson. … The series continues Tuesday night when
Atlanta’s Kris Medlen (5-1) is scheduled to start for the Braves
against LHP Andrew Werner (1-0, 3.00), who is scheduled to make his
second big league start.