Atlanta, GA – Eric Stults spun 7 2/3 dominant innings and Chase Headley continued to thrive at the plate, as the San Diego Padres topped the Atlanta Braves, 4-1, in the opener of a four-game series at Turner Field.
Headley clubbed a solo home run and drove in a pair, while Yonder Alonso and Cameron Maybin had an RBI apiece for the Padres, who have won seven of their last eight games.
Headley is on a tear of late with four homers and 11 RBI over his last four games.
Stults (3-2) allowed one run on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Luke Gregerson got the final out in the eighth to extend his scoreless streak to 16 2/3 innings and Dale Thayer picked up his sixth save of the season with a clean ninth inning in place of injured closer Huston Street.
"Our bullpen doesn't get enough credit," Stults said. "Street has done a great job, but we've got guys that can do the job. Luke came up with a big strikeout there. Dale's got a little bit of experience closing in the minors and has done a good job."
Martin Prado drove in the lone Atlanta run with a triple. Mike Minor (6-9) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on nine hits with three strikeouts over six innings.
San Diego opened the scoring in the second inning when Chris Denorfia led off the frame with a double, moved to third on a groundout by Alonso and scored via a Maybin sacrifice fly.
Jason Heyward became the Braves first base runner of the night in the fourth when he reached on an error by Alonso. Chipper Jones then got on top of a letter-high fastball and whacked a single into left, but Stults got Freddie Freeman to roll into an inning-ending fielder's choice.
Stults began the San Diego fifth with a hit and Logan Forsythe was plunked. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Alexi Amarista and Headley knocked home Stults with a single to left, extending the lead to 2-0.
Denorfia laced a triple into the right-center field gap to start the sixth and scored on a single by Alonso to extend the lead to 3-0.
Atlanta put together a two-out rally in the home sixth on hits by Prado and Heyward, but Stults got Jones to fly out with runners on the corners, ending the threat.
It was 4-0 for the Padres after Headley got a high fastball from Braves reliever Chad Durbin in the seventh and drove it deep and over the wall in right-center field.
Atlanta finally got on the board in the eighth when Michael Bourn singled and scored on a triple by Prado.
"I feel like there was a lot of bad luck tonight, and a mixture of good hitting on their part," Minor said. "I feel like I made some quality pitches, they just didn't have good outcomes."
Headley has hit safely in 14 of his last 16 games...Stults retired the first 11 batters he faced...The game was delayed at the outset 25 minutes by rain...The Padres improved to 41-1 when leading after seven innings and 33-25 when scoring first this season...Atlanta finished 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left five on base.