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Newcomb, Culberson power Braves past Padres, 1-0

NEWS
News
94   //    17 Jun 2018, 06:49 IST
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ATLANTA (AP) — Sean Newcomb is maturing quickly in his second full season in the majors.

"I think I'm doing a better job of just managing everything in general," Newcomb said. "Looking back at old starts and taking all the positives from it rather than beating myself up about it or trying to overdo something the next start."

The 25-year-old Newcomb pitched six scoreless innings, Charlie Culberson homered, and the Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres 1-0 on Saturday.

The NL East-leading Braves improved to 25-7 when their starter pitches at least six innings, and Newcomb has been a big reason for the success.

A winner in eight of his last nine decisions, Newcomb (8-2) allowed two hits, walked one and struck out seven. He retired the last 13 batters he faced and is 6-0 with a 1.35 ERA when starting after the Braves lost their previous game.

Dan Winkler faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Arodys Vizcaino earned his 14th save in 16 chances by working through a shaky ninth.

Hunter Renfroe doubled with one out, and pinch-hitter Cory Spangenburg got plunked in the right side before Vizcaino struck out Franmil Reyes and retired Freddy Galvis on a grounder.

Jordan Lyles (2-4) allowed two base runners — a single by Dansby Swanson in the first and another by Culberson in the second — before Culberson's third homer made it 1-0 in the fifth.

Lyles turned in a solid performance after entering the game 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in three career starts and one relief appearance against Atlanta. He gave up five hits and struck out six in his best outing since pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings against Colorado on May 15.

"We got ahead of guys (in the count) unlike we did back home against these guys, but overall not too many hard-hit balls," Lyles said. "Just the one mistake to Charlie."

Braves starters began the day ranked fourth in the majors with a 3.35 ERA and they improved to 5-1 with a 1.09 ERA in their last 10 home games. Newcomb has been particularly tough on San Diego, pitching six scoreless innings in each of his three career starts.

"He went out in the sixth and had a 3-0 count on that first hitter and just kind of locked in," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "It was really good. How he doesn't panic, how he's always staying pitch to pitch and just going to work. You expect that out of him now."

Jose Pirela doubled to begin the game and advanced to third before Newcomb struck out Christian Villaneuva and Franmil Reyes. That was the only trouble he faced.

"There were some power guys that I was trying to attack," Newcomb said. "I didn't want them to hit something soft and do something with it. I knew I'd get some in the top of the zone. I was doing that. It was good."

The Padres had won three of four and 12 of 17, but dropped to 34-39, last in the NL West.

They didn't match up well again with Newcomb, who has six starts when not allowing a run, most in the majors this year.

"There's a profile of a guy that's tough for our group collectively — a guy that's throwing fastballs by us in the top of the zone," San Diego manager Andy Green said. "I think people can see that. We have to shorten up and connect and weren't able to do that today.

STILL STREAKING

Braves 1B Freddie Freeman went 1 for 3 and has hit safely in 26 of 27 for a .377 average since May 19. He leads the NL in batting average, hits, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and total bases.

SHORT PAUSE

The game was delayed 25 minutes by rain in the middle of the sixth.

BIG CROWD

The Braves announced their fifth sellout this year and 41,916 tickets sold, the largest crowd in SunTrust Park's two-year history.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: RF Wil Myers, sidelined 44 games with a strained left oblique, has gone 2 for 8 with one RBI in two rehab games with Triple-A El Paso. Myers, who hit a combined 58 homers the last two years, might return next week.

Braves: LF Ronald Acuna Jr. ran the bases vigorously before the game and told manager Brian Snitker immediately afterward that he was "ready to go." Acuna has been sidelined since May 28 with a sprained left knee sprain and bruises to his knee and lower back. Snitker said he will report to extended spring training in Orlando by Monday before beginning a rehab assignment. ... RHP Mike Foltynewicz was placed on the 10-day disabled list with triceps tightness. After Foltynewicz threw a bullpen session Saturday, the team decided to give him extra rest in hopes of bringing him back next weekend. The team hopes he returns next weekend.

UP NEXT

Padres: Green has yet to announce a starter for Sunday's series finale, but will use relief pitchers throughout.

Braves: RHP Julio Teheran has been reinstated from the disabled list and will make his 14th start this season and 10th of his career against San Diego. Teheran missed over a week with a sore thumb. He is 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA in his last four starts.

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