The Braves and Padres were playing a competitive game Friday until the former unraveled over the final three innings, losing 11-6 at Truist Park.

Here are five takeaways from Friday:

1. For a moment, it looked like the Braves had again assembled one of their famed comebacks. Trailing throughout, they’d captured a 6-4 lead with Dansby Swanson’s three-shot shot in the sixth. The advantage was short-lived.

In the top of the seventh, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers singled off lefty Will Smith. Ha-Seong Kim then smashed a three-run homer over the left-field wall, giving his Padres a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Smith lost his three-outing scoreless streak which spanned May. He’s allowed runs in four of 14 appearances, but this was the first time he’d surrendered a run in a defeat. Smith allowed three hits after permitting one or none in each of his previous showings.

It only worsened from there. San Diego added four runs in the ninth to pull away. Spencer Strider and Darren O’Day were both charged with two runs on two hits. The biggest blow was Trent Grisham’s three-run double off O’Day to finish the Padres’ scoring.

2. And so a once-promising contest fell apart for the Braves, who are 3-3 on the homestand. They were defeated despite 12 hits because they still squandered prime offensive chances and couldn’t quiet the Padres’ offense, which has accounted for the two highest-scoring outputs against Braves pitching this season (San Diego scored 12 runs against the Braves on April 14).

The Braves’ vaunted big bats were also iced Friday. Matt Olson and Austin Riley combined to go 0-for-8 with four strikeouts, leaving 12 runners on base (Riley stranded eight). Behind them, Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud went a combined 1-for-10.

“We just keep grinding and fighting,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Eventually, we’ll get it all going at once.”

3. Outfielder Travis Demeritte continues to prove valuable depth for the Braves. After homering in Wednesday’s win, Demeritte had perhaps the best game of his young career Friday. He was on base five times, collecting three hits and walking twice, though he never scored. He came close but was thrown out at home on an aggressive send by third-base coach Ron Washington.

“He’s taking advantage (of his opportunity) and having some really solid at-bats,” Snitker said. “I like him hitting down in the order with the bats (we have at the top), especially when Ronald (Acuna) is leading off. We get those guys going, then there should be some guys on for the middle of the order to drive in. (Demeritte) is having some really good at-bats.”

Demeritte became the first Braves player to reach base five times in a game this season. He’s the first to achieve such since Freddie Freeman did so Aug. 18, 2021, when he hit for the cycle and walked.

4. While he stalled earlier in the year, Swanson has an extended hot streak. He was hitting .298/.379/.491 over his past 18 games entering the night. He had two hits, including the homer, and four RBIs Friday.

“He’s swinging the bat really well,” Snitker said. “Now we just have to get the guys in the middle going and we’ll be in good shape.”

5. Snitker deployed both catchers in Friday’s lineup, starting Travis d’Arnaud and using reserve William Contreras as a designated hitter. Contreras smacked a solo shot off Yu Darvish to tie the game in the third. It was Contreras’ fourth homer this season (all of which came in a stretch of 13 at-bats). He had two hits overall.

With veteran catcher Manny Pina out for the season (wrist), Contreras assumes a larger role than anticipated. He’s looked ready to embrace that responsibility, showing the opposite-field pop that’s made him among the sport’s most highly regarded young backstops offensively.

Stat to know

3-17 (The Braves fell to 3-17 when the opposition scores first.)


“Obviously, you’d rather be playing well and not starting off slow. But we know we haven’t played our best baseball yet. The best is yet to come.” – starter Max Fried, who allowed four earned runs and nine hits in six innings.

Up next

The Braves and Padres continue their series Saturday when Charlie Morton (2-3, 5.65) opposes lefty Sean Manaea (2-3, 3.75). Acuna said he expects to be back in the lineup (groin soreness).