San Diego, CA – Making his MLB debut, Casey Kelly kept the San Diego Padres' train moving.
Kelly tossed six scoreless innings and the Padres blanked the Atlanta Braves, 3-0, to extend their winning streak to eight games in the opener of a three- game set.
"It was an unbelievable feeling and a dream come true," Kelly said of his debut.
Kelly (1-0) fanned four, scattered three hits and walked two for San Diego, which had not won eight straight since Apr. 2010. The Padres' starters have posted a 1.67 ERA during the stretch since going 0-5 with an 11.74 ERA in their previous five contests.
The 22-year-old was the key player among the four the Padres acquired from the Boston Red Sox in the trade for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on Dec. 6, 2010.
"I thought he pitched with the fastball the whole game," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Fastball had good sink, he threw it in and out, good spots...a nice debut."
Yasmani Grandal smacked a two-run homer and added an RBI single to account for all of the runs.
Luke Gregerson, who worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save of the season, hasn't allowed a run over his past 23 frames. It's the second longest active streak in MLB behind the Tampa Bay Rays' J.P. Howell (26 2/3 innings).
Paul Maholm (9-11) surrendered two runs on eight hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings for Atlanta, which has dropped seven of their last 10 games.
"We felt better than a shutout the way we swung the bats," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The Padres struck for two runs in the second inning when Carlos Quentin led off with a walk and Grandal ripped a two-run shot into the seats in left field.
San Diego added an insurance run in the eighth. Chase Headley worked a one-out walk. After Quentin popped out, Headley stole second before Grandal grounded one through the hole on the right side to plate Headley for a 3-0 advantage.
Kelly was 0-2 with a 3.35 ERA and 39 strikeouts in eight minor league starts between the AZL Padres, Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson ... The Braves were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position, while San Diego finished 2-for-5.