Freeman, Swanson, Markakis homer as Braves rout Padres 14-1
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Freddie Freeman was a triple shy of the cycle when Atlanta manager Brian Snitker took out his first baseman because the Braves were beating the San Diego Padres so badly.
Freeman was OK with the move, because otherwise he would have faced Padres infielder Cory Spangenberg, who pitched the ninth inning of the Braves’ 14-1 blowout win.
“He asked me to come out of the game last night and I said no; he asked me to come out today and I said OK,” Freeman said. “I’m kind of glad. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a hit off a position player, so my last at-bat would have been in that situation.”
Freeman homered and had four hits, and Dansby Swanson and Nick Markakis also went deep. Sean Newcomb and Luke Jackson combined on a four-hitter for the NL East leaders, who unloaded with 18 hits one night after losing the series opener 11-4.
The Padres, last in the NL West, were denied their first four-game winning streak of the season.
Newcomb (7-1) allowed only three singles in six innings, and each time the baserunner was erased on a double play. He struck out three and walked four.
“It was good to get some zeros going early in the start, keep pounding the zone,” Newcomb said. “I wasn’t really where I wanted to be command-wise today but I still did a good job of mixing it up and getting some off-speed in there for strikes when I needed to, keeping them off balance.”
Newcomb won his seventh straight decision.
“Every time he goes on the mound you feel pretty confident we’re going to get the win that day,” Freeman said. “He’s been lights-out for a long time and hopefully that continues. He seems to go out there and throw shutout innings every single time he goes out there. What he did tonight was pretty special.”
Jackson almost got through three hitless innings of relief before allowing rookie Franmil Reyes’ monster homer with two outs in the ninth, his sixth. Reyes’ shot, estimated at 455 feet, landed near the back of the Braves’ bullpen in center field and bounced out of the ballpark. Jackson walked two and struck out five in earning his first save.
Spangenberg made his first big league pitching appearance, giving up one run on two hits and a walk.
Freeman’s first three hits were off Jordan Lyles (2-2). The slugger hit an RBI double to right field with two outs in the first and a solo homer to right-center with two outs in the third, his 10th. Freeman also doubled to left-center leading off the fifth and scored on Kurt Suzuki’s one-out double that started a five-run rally.
Charlie Culberson hit a two-run double and Swanson followed with a two-run homer, his sixth, to give Atlanta an 8-0 lead.
“It was just a great response to last night,” Swanson said. “Last night they did it to us and it was nice to be able to come out and string a lot of at-bats together. I think you could really see the momentum shift in our direction early in the game and I think that’s a huge response on our end.”
The Braves scored five more runs in the seventh off Bryan Mitchell. The big hit was Markakis’ three-run homer, his eighth.
Lyles allowed eight runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
“If you don’t bring your ‘A’ game against a good lineup you’re going to get exposed,” Lyles said. “I don’t feel like I had my good stuff but I think it has more to do with the other side over there. A lot of guys who like to attack and they got their pitches early.
“They got some pitches that they wanted. I can’t really point to any of them because I gave up so many hits tonight. Just one of those you’ve got to sweep under the rug.”
One of the highlights of the night was when a woman caught a foul ball in her beer cup and then chugged the beer.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (5-3, 2.22 ERA) is scheduled to pitch the series finale Wednesday afternoon. He’s 1-0 with a 6.67 ERA in two career starts against San Diego.
Padres: LHP Matt Strahm (1-2, 2.92) is scheduled to start a “bullpen” game that will feature several other relievers.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball