Perez throws 7 strong innings as Braves top Padres 4-1
ATLANTA (AP) — Williams Perez is developing a reputation for composure that is unusual for a rookie with only five starts in the major leagues.
Perez allowed only four hits in seven innings, Kelly Johnson returned from the disabled list with three hits and the Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres 4-1 on Wednesday night.
The only run allowed by Perez (2-0) was unearned. Making his fifth start, he matched his longest outing while striking out five and walking two. He has allowed no more than one earned run in four of his five starts.
“The guy has got some moxie,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. “He’s got some composure and doesn’t rattle.”
Added Johnson: “That’s the impression people have had since seeing him last year at Double A. I really am a big fan of that guy.”
Perez has a 2.78 ERA in seven games, including a 1.80 mark in five starts.
Johnson had an RBI single in the second inning in his return after missing 24 games with a strained right oblique. Cameron Maybin drove in a run with two of Atlanta’s 14 hits.
Maybin also had the biggest defensive play of the game in the fifth inning, catching Yonder Alonso’s drive in front of the center-field wall after Cory Spangenberg’s run-scoring double. Spangenberg had three hits.
“Not too many center fielders make that play, to challenge the wall there in center,” Gonzalez said.
Jim Johnson pitched a perfect ninth inning for his third save. Closer Jason Grilli was rested after pitching two straight days.
Johnson’s second-inning single off Tyson Ross (3-6) drove in Nick Markakis, who slapped a single to left field to lead off the inning. A.J. Pierzynski, who had an infield hit, scored on Andrelton Simmons’ single later in the inning.
Ross allowed three runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings.
“They didn’t hit him real hard,” said Padres manager Bud Black. “They hit the ball in the right spots again and they strung some hits together.”
Former President Jimmy Carter and wife, Rosalynn, sat near the Braves’ dugout. They live in Georgia.
Former Braves outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., making his first start since coming off the disabled list Monday, was 0 for 4 and was booed before every at-bat. He was robbed of a hit in the third on Johnson’s diving catch in left field.
Before the game, the Padres optioned second baseman Jedd Gyorko to Triple-A El Paso and recalled right-hander Nick Vincent. Gyorko was hitting .210 with two homers and 11 RBIs and lost his starting job to Spangenberg.
Padres: Black said after the game Will Myers will come off the 15-day DL and start in center field Thursday. Myers has been out since May 11 with left wrist tendinitis. Myers is hitting .291 with five homers, 19 RBIs and three stolen bases.
Braves: To clear a spot for Johnson, OF Joey Terdoslavich was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett one day after his pinch-hit homer gave Atlanta the lead in its 6-5 win over the Padres. Gonzalez said Terdoslavich “took it really well” and can help the team off the bench later in the season.
Padres: RHP Andrew Cashner, who gave up eight hits and seven runs in his last start at Cincinnati, will try to get on track against the Braves in Thursday’s final game of the four-game series. Cashner (2-8) has allowed a combined 12 earned runs in his last two starts.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (4-2) will look for his first win since May 21. He has a loss and two no-decisions while allowing a combined 15 earned runs in his last three starts.