Baseball

Padres swept by Braves to start second half

For a day, Cal Quantrill shortened the Padres' troublesome bridge to Kirby Yates.

Just not quite enough to make up for a powerful offense that still hasn't returned from the All-Star break.

Rookie Mike Soroka blanked San Diego over seven innings and Freddie Freeman launched a tie-breaking, three-run homer in the eighth inning off Trey Wingenter, helping the Braves to a 4-1 win that swept that Padres out of Petco Park to start the second half.

Right-hander Craig Stammen followed six shutout innings from Quantrill with a quick seventh and Wingenter fanned Austin Riley to start the eighth.

Then pinch-hitter Matt Joyce singled to right and Ronald Acuna followed with a single. After a strikeout of Dansby Swanson, Freeman ambushed Wingenter's first-pitch fastball and yanked it 418 feet to right for a 3-0 lead.

It was the first homer that Wingenter had given up all year to a left-handed hitter. Collectively, lefties had a .127/.243/.175 batting line against Wingenter before Joyce's one-out, pinch-hit single, Freeman's homer and Nick Markakis' ensuing RBI single opened up a 4-0 lead.

Josh Naylor's third hit plated the Padres' only run in the eighth inning, when the Padres loaded the bases before pinch-hitter Hunter Renfroe struck out to end the threat.

Their other nine hits Sunday were also singles and only four all weekend went for extra bases as the Padres dropped three games below .500 for just the second time this season.

Three were home runs by Manny Machado, who was inches shy from a fourth in three games when Acuna leapt against the wall in center to rob him of at least extra bases to end the fifth inning.

Quantrill turned in arguably his best start opposite Soroka, an All-Star, fellow rookie and fellow Canadian.

The Padres' right-hander struck out only three but needed only 90 pitches (53 strikes) to get through six scoreless innings, tied for his longest yet. He walked one batter, scattered three hits and didn't allow anyone past second base. His final inning ended with Josh Donaldson grounding to third with runners on first and second base.

Soroka was just a bit better, striking out nine over seven shutout innings to improve to 10-1.

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