ATLANTA — Ozzie Albies homered and drove in two runs, Mike Soroka gave up one run in six innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 on Monday night.
Soroka (2-1) allowed four hits, struck out a career-high eight and walked one. The 21-year-old right-hander lowered his ERA to 1.62.
Soroka threw only 81 pitches before he was lifted for pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson with the bases loaded in the sixth. Culberson lined out to left.
The Braves’ recent bullpen struggles made the decision to pinch-hit for Soroka possibly difficult for manager Brian Snitker. Right-hander Josh Tomlin rewarded Snitker by throwing two scoreless innings. Tomlin stranded runners on first and second in the eighth when he induced a popup to first by Manny Machado.
Left-hander Jerry Blevins, obtained from Oakland on Sunday for $1, struck out Eric Hosmer on three pitches to open the ninth. Rookie right-hander Jacob Webb recorded the final two outs for his first save, one day after his first win. Webb struck out pinch-hitter Wil Myers to end the game.
Greg Garcia, making his first start of the season at shortstop with rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. out with a sore hamstring, singled off Soroka to open the game and eventually scored on Machado’s double-play grounder.
Albies extended Atlanta’s lead to 3-1 in the fifth with his sixth homer, which hit the facing of the second deck in left field.
Albies is enjoying an early power surge for the second straight season. He hit nine homers in March and April last season before finishing with 24.
The Padres committed three errors, including two on one third-inning play, which allowed Atlanta’s first run.
First baseman Hosmer fielded Soroka’s bunt near the mound and threw to second. Garcia couldn’t handle the throw, which also skipped past Manuel Margo in centre field. Johan Camargo scored from first and Soroka ran to third as Hosmer and Margot were charged with throwing and fielding errors, respectively.
Soroka scored on Albies’ single to right field for a 2-1 lead. Both runs in the inning off Nick Margevicius were unearned. Margevicius (2-3) allowed three runs, one earned, on four hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Padres: Tatis did not start after hurting his hamstring on Sunday. He was hurt when he did an awkward-looking split while trying to stretch for a throw at second base at Washington. Manager Andy Green said it’s too soon to know if Tatis avoid the injured list. A decision could come Tuesday.
Braves: CF Ender Inciarte left the game with tightness in his right hamstring following a third-inning single. The Braves said the decision to remove Inciarte from the game was precautionary. … RHP Chad Sobotka was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left abdomen strain. LHP Grant Dayton was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.
Padres: Rookie RHP Chris Paddack’s .112 opponent batting average ranks first among pitchers who have logged at least 25 innings. Paddack is 1-1, and his 1.67 ERA ranks third entering Tuesday night’s start against the Braves.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (2-3, 5.40 ERA) is 5-3 with a 3.73 ERA in 10 career starts against the Padres. He was 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in two starts against San Diego in 2018.