Pedro Avila went five and one-third innings. In his major league debut, Cal Quantrill outdueled all three of those rookies by pitching five and two-thirds and allowing two earned runs while striking out three.
Unfortunately, those two runs were two too many as the San Diego offense stalled out and made Quantrill the hard-luck loser in his major league debut against the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta immediately jumped on Quantrill in the first inning as Dansby Swanson drove home an early run with a sacrifice fly, scoring Ozzie Albies from third. Olbies led off the inning with a triple while Freddie Freeman followed two batters later with a double to center field. A quick mound visit from Darren Balsley calmed Quantrill down as he settled down to retire the next eight straight batters, which included a strikeout of Charlie Culberson for the first punch out of his major league career.
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The Padres’ offense sputtered once again, and this time, it came from a familiar face. Max Fried, who was selected by San Diego in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft, stymied Padres hitters through seven innings while striking out seven Padres. Twice he struck out Wil Myers, who continues to collect K’s at an alarming rate as, after today’s performance, he has now struck out in 40% of his plate appearances.
The only run for the Padres was a loud one. Manny Machado, who hadn’t cleared the fence since April 12, took Fried deep in the fourth inning for a solo homer run that sped over the center field wall at 106.6 MPH off the bat with a launch angle of 19 degrees.
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The game remained deadlocked until the fifth inning when the Braves got their second run of the game on an Albies double to center field. Quantrill would finish the fifth and get two outs in the sixth until Andy Green pulled the plug on Quantrill’s major league debut. The Canadian right-hander threw 87 pitches while averaging 93 MPH on his fastball while showing great poise under pressure.
After Robbie Erlin got out of the inning, Atlanta pounced on Luis Perdomo in the seventh inning. Culberson advanced to second on a throwing error from Machado and scored on a Ronald Acuna Jr. infield hit. Perdomo got a flyball out from Albies, but Swanson made Perdomo pay by crushing a 1-0 fastball to left field for a two-run dinger that put the Braves ahead 5-1.
A pristine scoring chance revealed itself in the eighth inning with the bases loaded, but Josh Tomlin got Franmil Reyes to hit a weak groundball out to the pitcher and struck out Machado and Hunter Renfroe struck out to end the inning.
San Diego wouldn’t get another chance to score and fell to the Braves in Game 3. The starting rotation has been more than successful, but the offense has been woefully lacking early in the season. They’ll look to split the series tomorrow with Matt Strahm on the mound before going back on the road for a three-game road trip with the Los Angeles Dodgers.