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5:40 PM PT6:40 PM MT7:40 PM CT8:40 PM ET20:40 ET0:40 GMT8:40 5:40 PM MST7:40 PM EST8:10 PM VEN4:40 UAE (+1)7:40 PM CT, July 13, 2019
PETCO Park, San Diego, California  Attendance: 43,148

Braves shoot to stay hot vs. Padres

For Brian Snitker, more of the same please.

Snitker's Atlanta Braves opened the second half of the season on Friday night much the way they went into the All-Star break -- playing winning baseball.

"We played well tonight, we've been playing well," Snitker said after the visiting Braves defeated the San Diego Padres 5-3 at Petco Park.

Since the first of June, the Braves are 25-10, a run that has catapulted them into the lead in the National League East.

Saturday night they will seek to continue their run as they send out right-hander Julio Teheran (5-6, 3.75 ERA) against Padres left-hander Joey Lucchesi (7-4, 3.94) in the middle game of a three-game series.

While the Braves are surging, the Padres are still looking to find the right combination in the wild-card race. Friday night, some parts worked well. But the result was a fifth straight home loss that dropped the Padres to two games under .500 at home this season.

The silver lining in San Diego was the arrival of hard-throwing, 20-year-old right-handed reliever Andres Munoz, who worked a scoreless inning in his major league debut, with eight of the dozen pitches he threw clocking in triple digits and the fastest hitting 101.9 mph.

He was followed by another hard thrower in Gerardo Reyes, who also struck out one in a scoreless inning.

"Shoring up the bullpen a big deal for us, finding those bridge pieces that work consistently between (Craig) Stammen and (Kirby) Yates and understanding no bridge piece is ever going to be perfect," manager Andy Green said. "The more options we have, the move leverage relievers we have, the better off we're going to be."

The Padres made another bullpen move Friday, transferring Matt Strahm from the rotation to a bullpen role that he filled so well in 2018 -- another boost to a unit that struggled at the end of the first half.

Now, the Padres have to start winning games against the elite teams of the National League ... like the Braves.

"The Braves are one of the hottest teams in baseball over the last month," Green said. "For us to come out and win a series, we have to play really good baseball. This is an important series for us.

"I think we can say that about every series from now to the end of the season. We definitely want to get off to a good start after the break."

Teheran will be making his 20th start of the season. He has allowed 45 runs (42 earned) on 86 hits and 51 walks with 91 strikeouts in 100 2/3 innings for a 1.36 WHIP and a .229 opponents' batting average.

Teheran is 5-4 lifetime in 11 starts against the Padres with a 3.88 ERA and an excellent 1.03 WHIP, giving up 31 runs (30 earned) on 56 hits and 16 walks with 70 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings. But in his only outing against the Padres this season, Teheran took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

None of Lucchesi's 44 career starts have been against the Braves. The Padres are 9-8 in his 17 starts this season.

He has worked 96 innings, allowing 44 runs (42 earned) on 81 hits and 26 walks with 92 strikeouts for a 1.12 WHIP and a .224 opponents' batting average.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 13, 2019

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