San Diego Padres split doubleheader thanks to come from behind win over Braves

Friars overcome 5-0 deficit to top Atlanta

Dylan Cease has picked up the Padres on multiple occasions in his first season in San Diego. It was time for his teammates to return the favor.

An uncharacteristically shaky Cease got touched up early but four bullpen arms plugged the dam, giving San Diego's offense a chance to get hot late in a 6-5, come-from-behind win over the Braves that gave the Friars a series win and secured a doubleheader split in Atlanta.

Cease allowed five runs in 4.0 innings, staking the Braves to a 5-0 lead that is usually more than enough in their home ballpark. When he left Logan Gillaspie (the extra player the Padres added to the roster for the doubleheader) tossed two shutout innings to keep the game from getting out of hand. Offensively, the Friars were having all kinds of trouble with Braves starter Reynaldo Lopez.

They got one run off him in the 5th inning on an RBI groundout from Jackson Merrill to make it a 5-1 game. Once Lopez was out, the bats took control. Merrill brought in another run with a 2-out single in the 7th inning off reliever AJ Minter. But in the 8th, they really started having fun.

Joe Jimenez came on and immediately walked Ha-Seong Kim. We've seen the Padres fall apart after leadoff walks. On Monday it was their turn to make that free pass hurt. Fernando Tatis Jr. singled and Jurickson Profar walked, loading the bases for Jake Cronenworth, who picked the perfect time for his only hit of the game.

Jake ripped a 2-run single to centerfield, cutting the lead to 5-4. He wasn't standing on 1st base very long. Two pitches later Manny Machado split the gap with a double, bringing home Profar and Kim and putting the Padres on top 6-5. So, with their pitching and offense doing their part all we needed was some defense.

That came in the 9th inning. Closer Robert Suarez got Michael Harris II to hit a little flare to centerfield. It looked like a bloop single until Kim made a tremendous play, sliding under the ball and making a basket catch to steal a leadoff single. Up next was Adam Duvall, who got sawed off by a fastball and hit another soft liner down the right field line. Cronenworth made another fantastic diving catch for the 2nd out.

Those are the kinds of things that usually go against the Padres. This time it seemed like everything was going to go their way. Suarez got Jared Kelenic to fly out harmlessly to left field, sealing a 6-5 win and his 13th save of the season.

There was one potentially tough piece of news. 2nd baseman Xander Bogaerts made a diving stop of a ground ball and suffered an apparent left shoulder injury. Manager Mike Shildt said initial imaging was negative but Bogaerts will have more tests before he's back on the field.

The late game went in favor of the Braves, who used a dazzling performance from Chris Sale to blank the Friars 3-0. Sale struck out nine in seven innings, surrendering five hits and zero walks.

Randy Vasquez managed a quality start, but the little damage he allowed was too much for the Padres to overcome. The first year Padre gave up a home run to Marcell Ozuna, scattered 10 hits with two strikeouts. Vasquez allowed all three of the game's runs.

"The guys played really well, played good baseball the whole time, fought their tails off," Mike Shildt said after the game. "Got the first one, just weren't able to get the second one. But we'll take three out of four and move on."

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