|San Diego (67-80)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||5||0|
|Atlanta (89-59) «||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||x||2||9||0|
Medlen allowed four hits over 7 1-3 scoreless innings to win his fourth straight start, leading the Braves to a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
The first-place Braves increased their lead over second-place Washington to 11 games. Any combination of four Braves wins or Nationals losses will give Atlanta its first division title since 2005.
Medlen (14-12) has enjoyed a strong resurgence after a slow start. He went 1-6 over the first two months of the season but is 8-2 in his last 10 games.
In 2012, Medlen moved into the rotation on July 31 and then was 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA in 12 starts.
"Whether I'm a second-half guy or whatever it is, I just feel like I've clicked," Medlen said.
The Braves led 2-0 before Chase Headley hit a ninth-inning homer off closer Craig Kimbrel, who then pitched around a two-out walk to Ronny Cedeno for his career-best 47th save -- the most in the majors.
Freddie Freeman had three hits, including a sixth-inning homer off Robbie Erlin (2-3), to help the Braves earn their first win of the season over the Padres. San Diego won the first four games of the season series.
Medlen's surge has been especially important after staff leader Tim Hudson broke his right ankle on July 25 and was lost for the season.
Is Medlen, the staff leader in wins, the Braves' emerging ace?
"I think there are a lot of guys you could say that about," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I think his last four starts have been really, really good. Maybe more than that."
Medlen looked like an ace to Padres manager Bud Black.
"He's their guy," Black said. "He's won 14 games. Obviously, they're on their way to the playoffs. I suspect that he'll be their first-game pitcher."
Kimbrel overcame Headley's leadoff homer in the ninth. After striking out Kyle Blanks and Tommy Medica, Kimbrel walked Cedeno. After pinch-runner Reymond Fuentes stole second base, Nick Hundley grounded out to end the game.
"We were one base hit from tying that game," Black said. "We were right there with them."
Erlin allowed two runs on eight hits and one walk in six innings.
The Braves were denied a chance to extend their lead in the fifth when Elliot Johnson hit a two-out single and stole second. Upton singled to right field and Johnson, trying to score from second, was thrown out on right fielder Chris Denorfia's one-hop throw to the plate.
The Braves left the bases loaded in the seventh. Right-hander Dale Thayer, the Padres' third pitcher of the inning, struck out Evan Gattis to end the threat after Brad Boxberger and Tommy Layne combined to walk three batters.
San Diego's problems with walks continued in the eighth. With two outs, Andrelton Simmons doubled off Brad Brach, who then walked B.J. Upton and pinch-hitter Joey Terdoslavich. Brach struck out Elliot Johnson to end the inning.
There was a brief delay in the fifth inning when Medlen fouled a ball that hit home plate umpire Tom Hallion under his mask. The ball skimmed off catcher Nick Hundley's helmet before hitting Hallion, who remained in the game after being checked by Braves assistant trainer Jim Lovell.
Venable made a diving catch of Elliot Johnson's sinking liner in left-center in the first inning.
Gonzalez said Braves OF Jason Heyward, who took batting practice for the second straight day, could be sent to the Braves' Instructional League in Florida next week. Heyward's right jaw was fractured when hit by a pitch from the Mets' Jonathon Niese on Aug. 21. ... B.J. Upton drew three walks. ... Braves RHP Brandon Beachy (inflammation right elbow) will begin light throwing on Monday or Tuesday. ... Teheran will try for his 13th win against Padres RHP Burch Smith on Sunday.
|The Braves edge the Padres, but are probably more excited that Jason Heyward took BP again. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|San Diego Padres|
|Will Venable, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.270|
|Chris Denorfia, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.269|
|Jedd Gyorko, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.245|
|Chase Headley, 3B||4||1||1||1||0||0||0||.243|
|Kyle Blanks, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.251|
|Tommy Medica, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.333|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||2||0||1||0||2||0||0||.255|
|Reymond Fuentes, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.150|
|Nick Hundley, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.233|
|Robbie Erlin, P||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.091|
|Brad Boxberger, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tommy Layne, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Dale Thayer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-Mark Kotsay, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.190|
|Brad Brach, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Thayer in the 8th|
|HR - Chase Headley (12, Kimbrel)|
|RBI - Chase Headley (43)|
|SB - Will Venable (19, 2nd base off Carpenter/McCann), Reymond Fuentes (3, 2nd base off Kimbrel/McCann)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Chris Denorfia 1|
|San Diego Padres|
|Robbie Erlin (L,2-3)||6||8||2||2||1||3||1||5.18|
|Pitches-Strikes - Robbie Erlin 93-57, Brad Boxberger 18-8, Tommy Layne 6-2, Dale Thayer 4-4, Brad Brach 29-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Robbie Erlin 3-10, Brad Boxberger 1-1, Brad Brach 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Robbie Erlin 25, Brad Boxberger 4, Tommy Layne 1, Dale Thayer 1, Brad Brach 6|
|Elliot Johnson, 2B||4||0||1||0||1||1||4||.200|
|Justin Upton, RF-LF||4||1||2||0||0||0||3||.259|
|Freddie Freeman, 1B||3||1||3||1||1||0||0||.314|
|Evan Gattis, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||6||.241|
|Jordan Schafer, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.258|
|Brian McCann, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.257|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.330|
|Craig Kimbrel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Andrelton Simmons, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.248|
|B.J. Upton, CF||1||0||0||0||3||0||0||.191|
|Kris Medlen, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.176|
|David Carpenter, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-Joe Terdoslavich, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.230|
|Paul Janish, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.189|
|a-walked for Carpenter in the 8th|
|2B - Andrelton Simmons (24, Brach)|
|HR - Freddie Freeman (21, Erlin)|
|SH - Kris Medlen (6)|
|RBI - Freddie Freeman (99), Chris Johnson (64)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chris Johnson (34)|
|SB - Elliot Johnson (19, 2nd base off Erlin/Hundley)|
|CS - B.J. Upton (5, 2nd base by Erlin/Hundley)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|Kris Medlen (W,14-12)||7.1||4||0||0||2||5||0||3.32|
|David Carpenter (H,10)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.95|
|Craig Kimbrel (S,47)||1||1||1||1||1||2||1||1.04|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kris Medlen 110-72, David Carpenter 5-4, Craig Kimbrel 20-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Medlen 13-4, David Carpenter 1-1, Craig Kimbrel 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Kris Medlen 28, David Carpenter 2, Craig Kimbrel 5|
|Attendance - 40153|
|Game Time - 2:48|
|Temperature - 77|
|Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski|