Braves face former closer Kimbrel in 5-3 loss to Padres
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Atlanta Braves showed some life against their former closer, Craig Kimbrel, in the ninth inning Monday night.
The first two batters reached and the Braves scored a run with one out.
That's as close as it got, though, as the San Diego Padres held on for a 5-3 victory.
"We got first and second and no one out in the ninth inning. That's one of the traits we have in that locker room and they deserve that credit," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Kimbrel, obtained from the Braves the day before the season started, got his 34th save after allowing one run on two hits and a walk.
"He's got plenty of stuff to get out of it," Gonzalez said. "He can get a punch-out anytime he wants. It's hard to square him up at 96, 97, and he has a breaking ball. So we have seen that before and I thought our guys put some pretty good at-bats against him."
Rookie Colin Rea won his second straight start and Will Venable hit a two-run single for the Padres.
Rea became the seventh starter in Padres history to begin his big league career 2-0. Odrisamer Despaigne did it last season.
Rea allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings while striking out four and walking one. His only big mistake was allowing a home run to former Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin leading off the fourth, his 10th.
Rea was lifted after allowing A.J. Pierzynski's RBI single with two outs in the sixth. He pitched five innings for a 1-0 victory against Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Rea got all the backing he needed when the Padres scored three runs on four hits off rookie Williams Perez (4-4) in the second inning. Derek Norris beat out an infield RBI single with one out and Venable followed with a two-run single to right.
Matt Kemp homered to right for San Diego in the fifth, his 14th. Yonder Alonso homered to right with two outs in the eighth, his fifth.
Perez allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out two and walked four.
"I think Perez did OK," Gonzalez said. "Just one inning. It started with Norris' chopper and he couldn't get an out there and a base hit by Venable and scored two. But other than that I thought he did a nice job. "
Jedd Gyorko became the fourth Padre to start at shortstop this season. Gyorko last played there in college at West Virginia. He's made 63 starts at second base this season.
The Braves lost for the 16th time in 24 games.
Padres: Alonso returned to the lineup after getting struck in the temple Saturday night when Justin Upton threw his batting helmet in the dugout. ... OF Wil Myers (wrist) has increased his swinging regimen and could take batting practice this week.
Braves: Rookie RHP Matt Wisler (5-2, 4.74 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday night against the Padres, who traded him to Atlanta as part of the deal that brought them Kimbrel and outfielder Melvin Upton Jr.
Padres: RHP James Shields (8-5, 3.89) is scheduled to start for the Padres. He has won only once in his last 13 starts and pitched seven innings only three times in that span.