The Atlanta Braves scored a run in the top of the eighth inning and scored again in the top of the ninth, but the first seven frames saw them tally just one run as the San Diego Padres finished off a three-game sweep of the Braves, winning by a 5-3 final on Wednesday in San Diego.
Despite being outhit in every game, it was San Diego that earned three wins by a combined four runs. The Padres jumped out to an early lead in every game, which proved to be the difference as the Braves rallied each time but fell short due to the deficits.
Braves starting pitcher Paul Maholm was outpitched by Padres hurler Edinson Volquez, who turned in one of his best performances of the year with a seven-inning outing that saw him allow one run on six hits while striking out nine and issuing three walks.
Although Maholm gave up three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first, he settled down to allow just two runs on four hits over his final 4 2/3 innings. He struck out four and had a problem with walks, issuing three free passes, but the fact that his teammates failed to back him up, leaving nine runners on base while going just 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, was the real difference in the game.
It was more of the same for the Braves in the series finale, given that they used the same formula – a losing one that saw them fall behind early and fail to come back — in each of the previous two games.
Thankfully they’re headed back to Atlanta now, where they’ve posted one of the top home records in all of Major League Baseball.