The Padres took two of three from Atlanta in San Diego last week, and the Braves have dropped 16 of their last 19 games in the Padres’ home stadium while being outscored 98-59 over the stretch of futility.
The Braves have lost eight straight series at San Diego dating to 2011, but own an all-time record of 186-122 against the Padres in Atlanta.
The Braves (39-2 went 2-4 on their road trip against the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, but returned home to sweep a two-game series from the New York Mets and regain sole possession of first place in the National League East.
The Padres (33-37) have won five straight series after taking two of three at St. Louis and own 11 wins in their past 15 games.
Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 2.37 ERA) will start the series opener for the Braves, with fellow right-hander Tyson Ross (5-3, 3.43) going for San Diego.
Sanchez has made three starts since spending six weeks on the disabled list because of a hamstring strain and is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in the past two, allowing just five hits in 12 1/3 innings.
Atlanta has won Sanchez’s last four starts, with the 34-year-old getting a no-decision in his best outing since signing a minor league contract in spring training after being released by Minnesota.
In that game, Sanchez worked seven innings against Washington on June 3 and allowed just two hits and two unearned runs while walking one and striking out five.
“He’s got a great feel for pitching and knows what he’s doing,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I think his stuff is better than what I was led to believe when we signed him. He’s sneaky. He knows what he’s doing. He can change speeds and he locates the fastball well.”
The Padres have won the last six games started by Ross and are 10-3 in his outings this season.
“When it’s your turn to take the ball, you have to believe that you’re the ace,” Ross said. “It’s a rotation of five, but when it’s your turn to go, you have to give the team a chance to win.”
Ross won a combined 23 games for San Diego in 2014 and 2015, and was the Padres’ Opening Day starter in 2016. That was his only outing of the season, though, as thoracic outlet surgery forced him to miss the rest of the year as well as the first part of 2017 after he signed as a free agent with Texas.
The 31-year-old California native made 10 starts and two relief appearances for the Rangers last year, going 3-3 with a 7.71 ERA.
Ross has faced the Braves four times, with one appearance in relief, and is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA.
The important thing was that Sale was dominant through six innings, and the Boston Red Sox rode his performance to a 5-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday for a three-game sweep.
After issuing two walks to open the seventh in a 5-0 game, Sale (6-4) was lifted by manager Alex Cora. As he was making his way to the dugout, the left-hander yelled at home plate umpire Brian Knight and was promptly ejected .
”There are going to be points in the season, points in the game where stuff happens,” Sale said. ”No one’s perfect. Obviously I lost my cool a little bit. That’s going to happen, too.”
It was the second career ejection for Sale, the other coming in April 2015 when he was with the White Sox.
Sale struck out nine, allowed one run and gave up two hits in ending a run of three straight losing starts.
Baltimore has lost seven straight and 14 of 16. The last time the Orioles scored more than five runs in a game was May 24, and it sure wasn’t going to happen against Sale.
”It’s a bad combination, we’re not swinging the bat well and facing as good a pitcher as him,” manager Buck Showalter conceded.
Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez homered for the Red Sox, who are 9-1 against the Orioles this season.
Betts, the major league leader in batting average, came off the disabled list Monday after missing 14 games with an abdominal strain. He played Monday, was rested Tuesday and returned to the top of the lineup in the series finale.
Betts hit a 3-2 pitch from Yefry Ramirez over the center-field wall in the third for his 18th home run .
”The quality of his at-bats are incredible for not playing, what Taylor Rapp Jersey , two weeks?” Cora said. ”I mean, the guy’s talented.”
A three-run fifth made it 4-0, and Martinez hit his team-leading 22nd homer in the seventh.
After placing Andrew Cashner (back) on the disabled list Tuesday, the Orioles recalled Ramirez from Triple-A Norfolk to make his major league debut. The 24-year-old left with the score 1-0 in the fifth, but Mike Wright allowed both inherited runners to score.
Ramirez had no complaints.
”I felt awesome, excited, happy to be here,” he said. ”It’s been an opportunity that I’ve been waiting for 12 years. Now, it’s finally here.”
Ramirez (0-1) gave up three runs and four hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out six.
Baltimore got its lone run in the seventh, when Jace Peterson hit a sacrifice fly soon after Sale departed.
Red Sox: Cora said LHP Drew Pomeranz’s neck is sore and that the club would not plan for his return until after a weekend series in Seattle. Pomeranz originally went on the DL on June 5 with biceps tendinitis. … 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee) has been doing some weight lifting but is staying away from baseball activities for now Shareef Miller Jersey , Cora said.
Orioles: Orioles reliever Richard Bleier, one of the better performers on a ragged team, clutched his shoulder after throwing a pitch in the eighth inning and was immediately removed from the game. Asked for a prognosis, Bleier said, ”I have no idea. I don’t feel great right now.” Bleier is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA over 31 appearances. … IF Tim Beckham (core muscle surgery) will begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie on Friday, Showalter said.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (7-4, 4.00 ERA) seeks his sixth straight win when Boston faces Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in the opener of a four-game series at Seattle.
Orioles: After taking Thursday off, Baltimore opens a three-game series against the visiting Miami Marlins in a matchup of last-place clubs.
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