ATLANTA (AP) — Ian Kinsler needed a game like this.
So did the San Diego Padres.
Kinsler homered and drove in two runs, Wil Myers also went deep and the Padres earned a split of their series in Atlanta with a rare easy victory, routing the Braves 11-2 on Thursday.
Matt Strahm pitched six innings and benefited from a 17-hit barrage.
After breaking out of 0-for-14 slump the previous night with his first multi-hit game this season, Kinsler added three more hits.
“Hitting is contagious,” said Kinsler, who raised his average to .174. “This game is results-oriented. It’s nice to have results for sure.”
The Padres broke it open with a five-run fifth, helped by an errant throw from Atlanta pitcher Mike Foltynewicz that allowed four unearned runs to score. San Diego added five runs in the sixth — the first time since 2000 they have scored five runs in consecutive innings.
It was the biggest win of the season for San Diego, which walked a fine line through the first month of the season.
Eight of its 18 wins have been a single run, with five more decided by two runs.
“A game like that is a breath of fresh air,” Kinsler said.
Strahm (1-2) blanked the Braves until Nick Markakis’ two-run single in the sixth. The left-hander allowed eight hits in six innings, struck out six and didn’t walk anyone.
“I had a little hiccup in the sixth,” Strahm said. “Otherwise, everything was feeling good.”
Kinsler homered off Foltynewicz (0-1) in the third and came through again in the fifth, doubling to left-center to bring home another run. The Padres were just getting started, sending 10 platers to the plate and knocking out Foltynewicz, who gave up eight hits and six runs — two earned — in 4 2/3 innings.
Myers hit a two-run homer off Shane Carle in the sixth and finished with three RBIs. Eric Hosmer drove in two runs.
The Padres won two of four games in Atlanta after going 1-10 on their previous trips to Georgia dating to 2016. Still, they haven’t won a series at the home of the Braves since September 2013.
CHARLES IN CHARGE
The game was so out hand the Braves turned to Charlie Culberson to pitch the ninth, moving him from left field to make his second big league appearance on the mound.
He allowed a hit and walked two but drew a big cheer from what was left of the crowd by escaping a bases-loaded jam, getting Francisco Mejia on a flyout to deep center.
Culberson also got his first major league strikeout when Manuel Margot was caught looking on what was supposed to be a slider.
“I was just winging it,” Culberson quipped.
MINISTER OF DEFENSE
Filling in at shortstop for injured rookie Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado looked right at home in the third inning.
Machado scooted into the hole to field a sharp grounder, then made a strong throw to first from short left field to get Dansby Swanson by a half-step.
ACUNA’S TOUGH DAY
Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. would prefer to forget about his performance.
The center fielder got a late jump on a ball in the fifth, allowing it to drop in front of him for a hit as he attempted to make a sliding catch. That play, combined with Foltynewicz’s throwing error, led to the Padres’ first big inning.
“That’s got to be caught,” manager Brian Snitker said.
Acuna’s also came up short in the sixth after a long run to right center, the ball deflecting off his glove for a triple. Capping a dismal afternoon, the youngster was doubled off second to end an Atlanta threat in the bottom half of that inning.
Braves 3B Josh Donaldson missed his third straight game because of a sore right calf.
Padres: After going 4-3 on a weeklong trip, they return home for the opener of a three-game weekend series against NL West rival Los Angeles. LHP Eric Lauer (2-3, 4.41 ERA) is scheduled to go against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 2.25).
Braves: Begin a 10-game road trip at Miami, where RHP Kevin Gausman (1-2, 4.80) takes the mound against the Jose Urena (1-4, 5.08), who will face Atlanta for the first time since he was accused of intentionally plunking Acuna with a pitch last August. “That’s in the past,” Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte said. “We’re just ready to play ball.”
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