Soto, Padres snap Braves' win streak at 8 with shutout victory
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Struggling Juan Soto homered and Nick Martinez pitched seven strong innings as the San Diego Padres beat NL East-leading Atlanta 1-0 Wednesday to snap the Braves' winning streak at eight.
The Braves, who had the longest active winning streak in the majors, were shut out for the first time this season.
The Padres won for just the second time in eight games and will welcome back superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. on Thursday in the opening game of a four-game series at Arizona. Tatis finished an 80-game PED suspension on Wednesday, but won't be added to the active roster until Thursday, when the Padres will make a corresponding move.
San Diego is looking for an infusion of energy from Tatis, an electrifying player who will be in right field when he returns, rather than shortstop, where he was an All-Star in 2021. San Diego's superstar-laden roster had scored just one run in its previous three games, all loses, and hadn't had a lead since Saturday night, when it beat Milwaukee 10-3.
Soto, hitting just .175 coming in, drove a pitch from Charlie Morton (2-2) to deep right-center leading off the fourth, his fourth homer of the season. Soto snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a single in an 8-1 loss Tuesday night.
The Padres appeared headed for a 2-0 lead in the fifth, but Braves center fielder Sam Hilliard leaped and reached over the fence to rob Manny Machado of a homer.
Machado did have a stellar day at third base, including a heads-up play that led to a fielder's choice double play in the first. He caught Ronald Acuna Jr. in a pickle rounding second on Austin Riley's grounder, and then doubled up Riley when he strayed too far off first. In the fifth, Machado ran to his left to field Acuna's grounder, spun around and made the throw to first to end the inning.
Martinez (1-1) held Atlanta to three hits while striking out six and walking two.
Josh Hader pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Morton allowed one run and five hits in six innings.
The Padres won the season series 4-3.
Padres: Placed RHP Nabil Crismatt on the 15-day injured list with a left hip strain and recalled LHP Ray Kerr from Triple-A El Paso.
Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-0, 1.53 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against Houston, which counters with Hunter Brown (2-0, 1.93).
Padres: RHP Michael Wacha (2-1, 6.06 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener of a four-game series Thursday night at Arizona, which will counter with RHP Ryne Nelson (1-0, 3.71).
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports