Ian Anderson, home runs carry Braves to another win over Padres

Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies, left, celebrates his solo home run with Austin Riley during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies, left, celebrates his solo home run with Austin Riley during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Credit: AP

SAN DIEGO – Led by Ian Anderson and their powerful bats, the Braves beat the Padres, 5-2, on Saturday at Petco Park.

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Here are five observations on the Braves (5-5) after the win:

1. Anderson watched teammate Kyle Wright, who dominated the Padres in the second game of the series.

What Anderson noticed: “This team’s on the fastball. They’ve kind of shown that the first three games. He did a great job with his changeup last night and (I) felt like I was going to try to do more of the same today, and that’s kind of the attack we went with.”

Of Anderson’s 89 pitches, 34 were changeups. All seven of his strikeouts came on that pitch. The changeup produced 11 whiffs and a called strike.

Anderson tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run baseball. He allowed only two hits and walked one, while striking out seven. This was a complete reversal from his season debut, when he surrendered five runs over 2 2/3 frames.

“It feels good,” Anderson said of the sense of relief in feeling like himself again.

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Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ian Anderson throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Credit: AP

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ian Anderson throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ian Anderson throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

2. A nice sight for the Braves’ lineup: Baseballs flying over the wall.

The Braves hit three solo home runs off Padres starter Nick Martinez. Ozzie Albies led off the game with a solo home run, while Matt Olson and Marcell Ozuna put balls into the stands in the fifth inning.

Olson took a 93-mph fastball up and away and powered it out to the opposite field. He has looked as good as advertised early in the season.

“He’s strong man,” catcher Manny Piña said. “He’s got pop.”

3. Piña announced his arrival in an important way.

He drove in a run with a fourth-inning single for his first hit of the season. Two innings later, he lifted a sacrifice fly that scored another.

Oh, and his day could’ve been much bigger: In the second inning, center fielder Trent Grisham robbed Piña of a two-run homer with a tremendous leaping catch at the wall.

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Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Credit: AP

Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Credit: AP

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

4. Albies on Saturday led off a game with a home run for the ninth time in his career. He has homered in three straight games.

Last season, he put together two separate streaks in which he homered in four consecutive games.

5. Before the bottom of the ninth, Braves manager Brian Snitker went out to argue with home plate umpire Bill Miller. The reason: Miller halted closer Kenley Jansen’s warm-up routine early because the in-between-innings clock had run out.

“Kenley has a routine and he wants to throw his pitches and, my God, he’s pitching the most important inning of a Major League Baseball game, and we’re going to worry about a clock going off,” Snitker said. “We got to have better feel.”

Jansen eventually pitched a clean ninth, with a strikeout, to earn his second save of the season.

Braves 5, Padres 0

Stat to know

91.1 - The Braves’ average exit velocity on balls put in play entering Saturday was 91.1 mph, according to Baseball Savant. This was the fourth-best mark in baseball and is an indication that they are consistently hitting balls hard, which continued in the third game of this series.

Quotable

“Some are falling. We haven’t not swung the bats pretty good. We haven’t had a lot to show for it, but as far as just the ball leaving the bat, (that’s) been really good. A lot of guys hitting into bad luck and shifts. All of that has a way of evening out if you just stay patient and you stay with your plan and your approach and all.” - Snitker on the team’s offense the last two games

Up next

Braves right-hander Bryce Elder will make the second start of his career when he faces Padres right-hander Yu Darvish in the series finale Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.