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Colon shuts down Padres, gets timely hitting in support of Braves win

Bartolo Colon gave the Braves bullpen a much-needed day of limited work, going seven strong innings and helping Atlanta extend its win streak to four games.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves offense struggled out of the gate on Sunday, going hitless in the game’s first four innings against Trevor Cahill. From that point Atlanta put runs on the board in every inning to back an outstanding effort from Bartolo Colon and give the Braves a 9-2 win.

After struggling in his last start Colon came out dealing on Sunday, allowing just one hit over seven innings of work, striking out six. The lone blemish on the right-hander’s line came in the second inning, when Ryan Schimpf homered to right-center on a ball that was at least three inches off the outside corner. Aside from Schimpf’s blast, Colon could have done little else in helping the Braves extend heir winning streak that now at four games.

Offensively the Braves came alive once they got the ball rolling against Trevor Cahill, striking for two runs apiece in innings five through seven, followed by a three-run eighth. Tyler Flowers drove in the first two Atlanta runs with a fifth inning RBI single, putting the Braves head for good. The Braves would chase Cahill from the game in the sixth after a two-run single from Brandon Phillips gave Atlanta a 4-1 advantage.

Ender Inciarte was once again a catalyst atop the Braves lineup, homering for the fourth time in as many games and scoring twice. Brandon Phillips finished with three hits and three RBIs, as well as his fourth stolen base of the season. He has been a pleasant surprise early on, and has upped his level of play considerably in this series. Tyler Flowers had two hits and two RBIs, but left the game late with what has been diagnosed as a right hamstring strain.

The bottom of the eighth inning was an entertaining sequence for Braves fans as the offense plated three runs. The inning began with Zach Lee on the mound for the Padres, but when he failed to retire any of he three batters he faced, manager Andy Green summoned former Braves prospect and catcher-turned-outfielder-turned-pitcher Christian Bethancourt to clean up the mess. Bethancourt would allow two hits in the inning, including the first major league hit for Johan Camargo, but would escape the frame without allowing any of his own base runners to score. Take that Atlanta.

Things got a little rocky for Ian Krol in his inning of work, but he and Josh Collmenter were able to close the game out for Atlanta and give Bartolo Colon his first win as a Brave. At 5-6 on the young season, the Braves are inching closer to .500 and are coming through with some timely hitting that was lacking so severely in both New York and Pittsburgh. The Braves will play host to San Diego once again on Monday night as they look to close out a four-game sweep in the first series at SunTrust Park.

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