The San Diego Padres survived a ninth-inning scare to defeat the Atlanta Braves, 7-6, in the opener of a three-game series at Petco Park.
Up 7-2 to start the ninth, Tim Stauffer took the mound for the Padres. He allowed back-to-back singles by Dan Uggla and Chris Johnson before B.J. Upton flied out. Evan Gattis then stepped up as a pinch-hitter and crushed a 2-1 pitch to left to cut the deficit to 7-5.
Dale Thayer replaced Stauffer. He got Andrelton Simmons out, but Jason Heyward smashed a 1-0 pitch over the wall in straightaway center. Thayer kept his composure, though, and struck out Justin Upton to end the game and notch his first save.
Will Venable had a three-run home run while Logan Forsythe hit a solo shot for the Padres, who saw starter Jason Marquis (8-2) allow two runs on five hits and five walks over 7 2/3 innings.
"I allow the game to dictate how I attack it," Marquis said. "I go in with a game plan, but I just see where the game takes me."
Heyward also hit a solo shot in the eighth while starter Julio Teheran (4-3) surrendered five runs on six hits in six frames. He also drove in one run in the setback.
"It feels good to contribute and take some weight off these other guys and produce. I feel like we're a young team and have some growing up to do. We're taking it in stride, but at the same time we're having fun and looking to improve every night," Heyward said.
The Padres got on the board early. Alexi Amarista tripled with one out in the first and scored on a ground out by Chase Headley. Forsythe knocked his solo shot an inning later.
In the fourth, Carlos Quentin and Kyle Blanks hit back-to-back singles before Venable hammered a 1-2 pitch to right to give the Padres a 5-0 advantage.
The Braves scored in the fifth. Johnson drew a one-out walk and B.J. Upton singled. With Teheran batting, Marquis threw a wild pitch to allow Johnson to reach third. One pitch later, Teheran grounded out to the shortstop, but got Johnson home.
San Diego added two more runs in the seventh. Venable hit a leadoff double and Forsythe walked. Yasmani Grandal then singled, plating Venable. Up next was Marquis, who hit into a double play, but Forsythe made it to the plate.
Marquis has won his last seven decisions since losing to the Brewers on April 22. The last Padres pitcher to do so was Jake Peavy (July 27-Sept 1, 2007) ... The Braves were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position ... Atlanta has 87 home runs this season, most in the majors.