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San Diego at Atlanta

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San Diego (67-80)000000001150
Atlanta (89-59) «00010100x290

Medlen continues surge as Braves edge Padres

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Kris Medlen is putting together another second-half run that is helping the Atlanta Braves move closer to the NL East title.

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.

Medlen, Mike Minor and Julio Teheran have taken over atop the rotation.

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."

Medlen, who had five strikeouts and two walks, was removed after allowing a bloop single to Will Venable with one out in the eighth. David Carpenter recorded the final two outs of the inning.

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 took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Justin Upton led off with a single and scored on a two-out single to left field by Chris Johnson, who had two hits.

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.

Notes

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.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Braves edge the Padres, but are probably more excited that Jason Heyward took BP again.  (USATSI)
The Braves edge the Padres, but are probably more excited that Jason Heyward took BP again. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

F. Freeman
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
San Diego

R. Erlin
IP 6.0
H 8
ER 2
BB 1
K 3
 
San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Will Venable, CF4010011 .270
Chris Denorfia, RF4000011 .269
Jedd Gyorko, 2B4000011 .245
Chase Headley, 3B4111000 .243
Kyle Blanks, LF4010010 .251
Tommy Medica, 1B4010011 .333
Ronny Cedeno, SS2010200 .255
   Reymond Fuentes, PR0000000 .150
Nick Hundley, C4000004 .233
Robbie Erlin, P1000110 .091
   Brad Boxberger, P0000000 .000
   Tommy Layne, P0000000 .000
   Dale Thayer, P0000000 .000
   a-Mark Kotsay, PH1000010 .190
   Brad Brach, P0000000 .000
Totals3215137  
a-struck out for Thayer in the 8th
Batting
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
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Chris Denorfia 1
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Robbie Erlin (L,2-3) 6822131 5.18
Brad Boxberger 0.2000200 3.26
Tommy Layne 0000100 2.25
Dale Thayer 0.1000010 3.41
Brad Brach 1100210 3.58
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
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Elliot Johnson, 2B4010114 .200
Justin Upton, RF-LF4120003 .259
Freddie Freeman, 1B3131100 .314
Evan Gattis, LF4000016 .241
   Jordan Schafer, RF0000000 .258
Brian McCann, C4000012 .257
Chris Johnson, 3B4021000 .330
   Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
Andrelton Simmons, SS4010003 .248
B.J. Upton, CF1000300 .191
Kris Medlen, P2000021 .176
   David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
   a-Joe Terdoslavich, PH0000100 .230
   Paul Janish, 3B0000000 .189
Totals3029265  
a-walked for Carpenter in the 8th
Batting
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
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kris Medlen (W,14-12) 7.1400250 3.32
David Carpenter (H,10) 0.2000000 1.95
Craig Kimbrel (S,47) 1111121 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
Game Information
Attendance - 40153
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski