Atlanta has lost its last four games and its last four against the San Diego Padres, but those streaks are growing common for the Braves.
What’s more surprising is they haven’t won a game in San Diego since 2012. They’ll try to change that Monday night as the teams begin a three-game series.
Atlanta’s last win in San Diego came Aug. 28, 2012, and it’s since lost 10 straight with 2.4 runs per game and a 5.82 ERA.
If that’s going to change, it’ll in part be because of Williams Perez. The right-hander’s last three starts have ended with victories, though he hasn’t earned the decision in the last two. Perez (2-1, 3.86 ERA) gave up four runs – three earned – and five hits in 5 2/3 innings of Wednesday’s 5-4 home victory over San Francisco.
He was part of the San Diego skid last year as he fell to 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts in the series after allowing four runs and seven hits with four walks in 6 1/3 innings of a 5-3 defeat Aug. 17. Matt Kemp is 1 for 2 with a home run against Perez.
The Padres counter with Christian Friedrich, who has won his last two starts but continues struggling with control. Friedrich (2-1, 2.53) gave up four runs – three earned – and nine hits with four walks in five innings of Wednesday’s 14-6 home win over Seattle.
He needed 37 pitches to get through the first and has issued 14 walks in 21 1/3 innings in his four starts. His 18.8 pitches per inning would lead baseball if he’d pitched a qualifying level of innings.
"We had just picked up the bullpen phone," manager Andy Green told MLB’s official website. "That’s right where we were. He’s upper-30s in pitches, but we’re trying to give him a lot more leash than you typically do, considering the bullpen being used a lot yesterday. You don’t want to run through the bullpen in the second inning."
The Braves (16-40) finally came up with some offense Sunday but lost 12-6. They’d managed two runs in their previous three games. Nick Markakis was 3 for 4 and is batting .324 in his last nine after entering that span at .232, but Freddie Freeman is 4 for 26 in his last eight.
"It was a tough series for us considering that we played pretty well in San Francisco and then we get here and these guys are swinging the bats well at home," interim manager Brian Snitker said. "We just got to keep fighting."
The Padres (23-35) fell a game short of a three-game sweep of Colorado over the weekend with Sunday’s 10-3 loss.
Wil Myers stayed hot by going 2 for 4 with his third home run in five games and is batting .433 in his last seven. Alexei Ramirez was also 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He’s batting .356 in his last 12.