Cameron Maybin enjoyed his return to Petco Park, but the Padres had the last laugh Monday night.
Despite a solo shot by the former Padre and current Atlanta Brave, the Friars earned a 5-3 victory as they open up a six-game homestand.
Rookie pitcher Colin Rea was solid in his second straight outing. With the exception of that one mistake he left out over the plate for Maybin, Rea struck out four batters in 5.2 innings and improved to 2-0 already in his young major league career.
He was happy to get some help from his teammates in the field as Justin Upton hauled in a fantastic catch in left-field, crashing into the wall to rob Pedro Ciriaco of extra bases in the 8th.
Jedd Gyorko also started at shortstop and flashed the leather on multiple occasions – making his case for more playing time in the hole over the next few weeks.
As for the offense, the Pads jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning. Will Venable provided a 2-run single with 2 on and 2 out after Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez elected to pitch to Venable in the 8-spot with the pitcher on deck.
Maybe next time Atlanta’s skipper will remember that where there’s a Will, there’s a way. Matt Kemp and Yonder Alonso also provided some insurance in the form of solo homers.
Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta’s all-time saves leader, navigated his way through a shaky 9th inning against his former squad, earning his 34th save of the season. On most occasions, Kimbrel has been as good as advertised since coming to Southern California along with Melvin Upton, Jr in that 6-player off-season trade this past April.
The Padres improve to 5-2 in their past seven contests, but as of Tuesday morning they still trail San Francisco by a hefty 11.5 games for the second wildcard spot.