Solarte plates 2 as Padres beat Braves 3-2 to complete sweep
SAN DIEGO (AP) The Padres have discovered an alternative fuel source, and his name is Yangervis Solarte.
Solarte drove in two runs, and Tyson Ross pitch six solid innings as San Diego beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 to complete a three-game sweep on Wednesday.
''He brings an energy that is second-to-none,'' Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said. ''He has been playing great baseball, both defensively and getting some big hits for us.''
Solarte, who had three hits, homered in the sixth inning and added a run-scoring double in the seventh.
''Good days, bad days, I try my hardest to bring that energy out on to the field,'' Solarte said through an interpreter. ''That is just part of what I can bring.''
In the seventh, Melvin Upton Jr. singled off Matt Marksberry (0-2), stole second and advanced to third on Clint Barmes' groundout. Austin Hedges followed with a double to left-center field, scoring Upton for a 2-1 lead.
Ross pitched six innings, allowing a run on six hits. He walked three and struck out five.
Shawn Kelley (2-2) got the win after striking out the side in the seventh.
''He's been the unsung hero for us,'' Murphy said. ''Kelley has been very good and he's really been consistent. He gives up very few free passes.''
Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 35th save in 37 chances.
Atlanta's Julio Teheran allowed a run and struck out seven over six innings.
''I felt strong the whole game,'' Teheran said. ''I feel confidence and that's the most important thing for a pitcher.''
It was only the Padres' second three-game sweep of the season. It led to a noisy postgame celebration which could be heard outside the clubhouse.
''You're not supposed to hear that,'' Murphy said with a grin. ''They are a group of guys that like winning. That is part of creating chemistry and a culture that we want. It's the fun part of the day, for sure.''
Marksberry got two outs in the seventh and was charged with two runs, three hits and a walk.
Atlanta has lost 18 of its past 26 games and 10 straight to San Diego at Petco Park.
''We haven't scored runs the last couple of games and it magnifies everything coming out of the bullpen,'' Gonzalez said. ''There's no wiggle room.''
Atlanta's bullpen gave up 10 runs, 13 hits and five walks in 6 2-3 innings in the three-game series.
The Braves pulled within 3-2 in the eighth on Nick Markakis' third hit, an RBI double to left that scored Cameron Maybin.
Solarte tied the game at 1 in the sixth by belting Teheran's slider over the right field fence. It was Solarte's ninth home run of the year and snapped a string of eight Padres being retired in a row.
The Padres couldn't decipher Teheran early, despite his previous woes on the road, where he's won just twice.
He wiggled from a first-inning jam created by Matt Kemp's hit and walks to Solarte and Justin Upton. But Teheran retired Jedd Gyorko on a fly ball, and Upton, Jr., grounded out.
Over the next three innings, the Padres had only a single by Solarte in the third.
''Julio was great,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ''After the first inning he started to pound the strike zone. His slider was as good as you want it to be.''
The Braves produced two hits and two walks in the third with one out, but only scored one run.
Michael Bourn singled, but was caught stealing by Hedges. Maybin and Freddie Freeman both walked, with Maybin scoring on Markakis' single. Adonis Garcia grounded out to end the threat.
Tennis legend Rod Laver threw out the first pitch, a borderline strike low and away. Padres bench coach Dave Roberts then escorted Laver, who lives in nearby Carlsbad, California, to home plate for the lineup card exchange and meeting with the umpires. Showing he's no John McEnroe, Laver had a friendly conversation with the officiating crew.
DIRECTIONS TO HOME PLATE, PLEASE
The Braves have scored just 94 runs in 31 games since July 17, which ranks among the lowest in the league. Atlanta has hit just 17 home runs and produced only 71 extra-base hits in that span.
PADRES: RHP Brandon Morrow underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Wednesday.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (4-4, 5.61 ERA) will face the Cubs for the first time in his career. He's looking for his third win in his last four outings as Atlanta begins a four-game series on Thursday in Chicago.
Padres: RHP Ian Kennedy (7-11, 4.20 ERA) will open a three-game series against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. He has won four of his last six starts.