LHP Sean Newcomb entered Tuesday night’s start having won six consecutive starts. He was also coming off a May in which he went 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA, and had not allowed a home run in 36 innings.
The 24-year-old continued the good vibes against the Padres.
Although he allowed some loud contact early on, Newcomb improved as the game went on. He ended up shutting out the Padres over six solid innings, allowing only three hits and three walks. The southpaw struck out four and induced three double plays on the evening.
With the performance, Newcomb improved to 7-1 on the season. The former Angels farmhand induced 10 whiffs and recorded 16 called strikes in his 95 pitches.
For as good as Newcomb was, Padres starter Jordan Lyles did little to match him.
It was clear from the get-go that Lyles did not have his best stuff, and that stuff clearly got less and less effective as the game wore on.
Three batters into his start, he had already given up two doubles and a run. After a scoreless second inning (which was his only inning of that variety in his start), the 27-year-old allowed a Freddie Freeman home run in the third and an RBI single by Dansby Swanson in the fourth.
After going only 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position off Lyles in the game’s first four innings, Atlanta finally broke the game open in the top of the fifth. Freddie Freeman led off the inning with a double, which was his third extra base hit of the game. The next hitter, Nick Markakis, hit a hard ground ball to first base for the first out of the inning.
Dansby Swanson delivered the final blow, cranking a towering two-run home run to make the score 8-0.
“Those guys over there, they can swing the bat. Freeman and Markakis are about as tough an out as anyone in the game right now,” manager Andy Green stated after the game.
All in all, Lyles went 4 1/3 innings, giving up 11 hits and eight earned runs. He only recorded one strikeout on the night.
Mitchell does little to provide relief
Bryan Mitchell came on in relief of Lyles and allowed five hits and five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. He continues to struggle in his new mop-up role and has only one outing this season in which he has not allowed a run (April 7).
Braves offense explodes
Each position player in the starting lineup for the Braves besides center fielder Ender Inciarte recorded at least one base hit tonight.
Freddie Freeman led the way with a 4-for-4 day. The first baseman, whose hitting streak was snapped at 16 games yesterday, doubled in the 1st, homered in the 3rd, doubled and singled in the 5th, and walked in the 7th.
Not far behind was SS Dansby Swanson, who went 3-for-4 with a home run, two singles, and a walk.
Nick Markakis (2-for-5, HR), Kurt Suzuki (3-for-6, 2 RBI), and Charlie Culberson (2-for-5, 2 RBIs) also recorded multi-hit games.
Reyes crushes pitch
With two outs in the ninth, Franmil Reyes crushed a 455-foot solo shot over both bullpens in left-center field. It was the fourth longest blast in Petco Park history.
“He crushed it,” Green stated after the game. “I went up to him before the bottom of the inning and told him to not give an at-bat away. The best in the game do not give at-bats away in blowout games. They take every one incredibly seriously.”
It was good to see him take that to heart and hit a long one,” he continued.
With a planned bullpen day on Wednesday for the Padres, manager Andy Green went to infielder Cory Spangenberg to pitch the ninth.
It was the first time a position player had toed the rubber for the Padres since Erick Aybar on June 8 of last year.
Spangenberg allowed one run and two hits in the inning.