Was it more fun to watch Jesse Hahn shut down the Braves, or see the Padres’ offense rack up 12 hits in their first 21 ABs?
Let’s call it a tie.
In a season in which watching the Padres hasn’t always been fun, Friday night’s 5-2 win was a blast. We had a hint at what was to come right from the get-go, when Padres’ leadoff hitter Chris Denorfia drove a single into center and newcomer Yangervis Solarte followed with another. Cleanup hitter Tommy Medica drove in Deno with the first run, and the Padres were off and running.
Hahn took the mound for the first inning with a 1-0 lead, and started his night by striking out B.J. Upton, his first of four Ks on the night. He mowed down the Braves for the first five innings, allowing only two hits and no runs. The Braves touched him for a run in the sixth, but by then, the Padres had a healthy 5-1 lead.
San Diego hitters stroked 12 hits in their first 21 ABs, knocking Braves starter Alex Wood out of the game after five innings. Wood allowed 5 runs on 12 hits and a walk.
The Padres’ offense spread the wealth around the lineup for the second night in a row. After eight different Padres combined for 14 hits in Thursday’s finale against the Cubs, seven more Padres combined for another 13 hits Friday.
Medica went 4-for-5, his first four hit night in the majors. Following his 3-for-5 night against the Cubs on Wednesday, he has now raised his average from .226 to .261. Chris Denorfia added three hits, two runs, and a RBI.
The Padres got good situational hitting as well as getting on base. They scored their second run on a double by Carlos Quentin, Medica’s second single, and a sac fly by Chris Nelson. They added two more in the fourth on singles by Alexi Amarista and Denorfia, a successful sacrifice by Hahn, and another sac fly by Solarte.
Quentin appeared to be running gingerly on his double, and left the game an inning later.
Hahn was removed from the game after six innings, despite having allowed only one run on three hits on 88 pitches. The team is being careful with Hahn’s innings, as he hasn’t pitched more than 70 innings in a season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010. With the six IP tonight, Hahn stands at 87 on the season. He is likely to be limited to about 140 innings, according to Corey Brock of padres.com.
Hahn improved his record to 6-2 while lowering his ERA to 2.12.
San Diego’s bullpen uncharacteristically made the game a little more exciting in the eighth inning, allowing the Braves to load the bases on a pair of walks, a hit batsman, and an error. After Joaquin Benoit forced in a run with a walk, he finally retired the side on a popup to center by Chris Johnson.
Benoit finished the ninth in blissful uneventfulness, striking out two, and earning his second save.
The Padres have won three games in a row for the first time since July 1-4. They improve their record to 46-56, while the Braves fall to 55-48.