Braves, Padres meet again after following different paths

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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When the San Diego Padres departed Atlanta on Easter Sunday, they were riding a high, having taken three of four games in the Braves’ first home series of the season.

Since then, however, the Padres are 2-5 and have scored three runs or fewer in each of the losses — twice getting shut out. The Braves, meanwhile, have gone 6-0.

There is a bit of an asterisk. The Padres played the Mets and Brewers while the Braves were sweeping the Reds and Royals with a day off thrown in.

So, the stage is set for the three-game Braves-Padres rematch that begins Monday night in San Diego. The Braves need to extend their winning streak to nine straight games to claim the season series from the Padres. What the Padres need is a change of fortune.

“Disappointing,” was the first word out of Bob Melvin’s mouth Sunday afternoon after the manager’s Padres were shut out by the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0 to lose for a third time in four games at home.

Things are not going the way the Padres or their fans expected.

Juan Soto is hitting .172. Manny Machado has one homer and seven RBIs after 17 games. Fernando Tatis Jr. doesn’t return from his PED suspension until April 20. And Joe Musgrove is still on the injured list.

The Padres will open the series Monday with left-hander Ryan Weathers (1-0, 2.70 ERA), who normally would be No. 7 on the rotation depth chart. But in addition to their other problems, the Padres are at game No. 12 in a run of 18 straight games without a scheduled day off.

Plus, the Padres have no advance knowledge of who is pitching the series opener for the Braves, who are TBA in the pitching matchup.

But the Braves have regained their momentum.

“After a solid start, we didn’t play as well as we needed to when we came home to play the Padres,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker, whose ballclub is 11-1 against everyone else on their schedule thus far.

As for the Padres, they have played before eight home sellouts and are averaging 42,034 fans for their first 10 home games. And their record at home: 4-6.

The Padres are 2-0 in Weathers’ first two starts. His win came in New York against the Mets in his most recent start on April 11. He held the Mets to one run on three hits and two walks over five innings. Over his first two outings, the former first-round pick has given up three runs on eight hits and five strikeouts in 10 innings.

Weathers is making something of a comeback at the age of 23. After making 30 major league appearances (18 starts) as a 21-year-old in 2021, Weathers made one spot start in all of 2022.

“He came to spring training this year with a different attitude,” said Melvin. “Nothing was promised him. We talk about his demeanor and coming to spring training and earning his keep and fighting for everything. I think it showed up in his last start against the Mets.

“He’s got a good fastball. He’s been working on his off-speed stuff which is important to him. I’d like to see maybe a little more consistency in the zone.”

Yankees score runs in final three innings for 4-1 victory over Dodgers

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – Despite battling injuries all season, the New York Yankees are still managing to pick up victories.

With AL MVP Aaron Judge sidelined after injuring his foot on Saturday, the Yankees got strong pitching and were able to use a little bit of small ball to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 Sunday and take two of three games in the weekend series.

“Just a really good all-around effort. A lot of winning things were happening in that game,” manager Aaron Boone said.

New York plated runs in the seventh and eighth innings on soft-contract grounders before Anthony Volpe provided some insurance with a two-run homer in the ninth.

J.D. Martinez homered for the Dodgers, who dropped the final two games in the series.

Clay Holmes (4-2) pitched one inning to pick up the win, and Wandy Peralta got the last four outs for his fourth save.

It was a pitchers’ duel for six innings between the Yankees’ Domingo Germán and Dodgers’ Bobby Miller. The right-handers matched zeroes as the teams combined for only four hits in the first six innings.

Dodgers’ rookie Miller allowed only one hit in his six innings, becoming the first Dodgers’ pitcher since at least 1901 to allow one hit or fewer within his first three big league starts. The 24-year old right-hander struck out seven and walked two in his third start.

Germán went 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run and four hits, including Martinez’s solo shot to tie it at 1-all in the seventh. The right-hander has limited opponents to one run or fewer in four of his last six starts.

Jake Bauers – who was playing right field in place of Judge – scored the game’s first run in the seventh on Kyle Higashioka‘s broken-bat grounder to short.

Bauers got aboard with a base hit then advanced to third when Brusdar Graterol threw the ball away on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s bunt.

After Martinez’s homer, the Yankees retook the lead in the eighth against Evan Phillips (1-1). Oswaldo Cabrera drove in Anthony Rizzo with the go-ahead run with a slow roller that second baseman Miguel Vargas could only throw to first.

“It not being hit well helps when the fielders have to move a little. That’s what you’re selling out for. Good job by the base runners there,” Boone said.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said both balls could not have been placed any better by the Yankees’ batters.

“I don’t think they had a chance on both balls. The base runners had such a good jump. They were jam shots,” Roberts said. “There were a lot of things we did as far as giving away a couple bases on the defensive side.”

Volpe had two hits after being mired in a 3-for-38 slump his last 11 games. He extended the lead by driving Caleb Ferguson’s fastball over the wall in left-center in the ninth. It was Volpe’s ninth homer, which is second among AL rookies.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence,” said Volpe after the Yankees took four of six on the road trip.


Martinez evened it in the bottom of the inning with a solo shot to left-center. It was his 10th homer in the last 21 games.

Martinez has 20 homers against the Yankees, his third-most against any club. He has 35 against Baltimore and 23 vs. Cleveland. He is four homers away from 300 for his career.


Miller – the 29th overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft – looked like he might have a short outing after throwing 27 pitches in the first inning. He struck out three but also walked two.

Miller retired seven straight between the third and fifth innings before Volpe lined a base hit to center field with two out in the fifth.

“It felt really good. Been working on my slider a lot lately.,” said Miller, who threw 86 pitches, including 39 sliders. “They know I have a good fastball so I have to have my other pitches working as well.”


Yankees: LHP Nestor Cortes is expected to be placed on the injured list Monday or Tuesday due to a shoulder issue. Manager Aaron Boone said Cortes has been slower to recover between starts and is likely to miss one or two starts. … LHP Carlos Rendon (left forearm strain) will face hitters on Wednesday.

Dodgers: OF Trayce Thompson was placed on the injured list with a left oblique strain. OF Johnny Deluca was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.


Yankees: Return home for six games starting Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox. RHP Clarke Schmidt (2-5, 5.01 ERA) has gone at least five innings in six of his last eight starts.

Dodgers: Hit the road starting Tuesday against Cincinnati. RHP Tony Gonsolin (3-1, 1.77 ERA) has gone 3-0 in his last four starts.