Touki Toussaint des Braves thwarts the Padres on his season debut

ATLANTA: Touki Toussaint from Atlanta (Photo) looked sharp in his first start of the season, throwing the Braves to a 2-1 victory over the visiting San Diego Padres on Tuesday.

Toussaint (1-0), effectively using his curved ball and low speed throws, pitched 6 2/3 innings – his career best. He allowed one run on three hits and two walks and recorded five strikeouts.

Toussaint looked tired in the seventh and was lifted after allowing a pair of two-out singles. Tyler Matzek entered the game and struck out pinch hitter Jurickson Profar on a lazy ball in the middle to end the threat.

Toussaint had been on the injured list since March 22 with a strain on his right shoulder. Toussaint was 2-1 with a 4.24 ERA in six minor league rehab starts and allowed just two runs in his previous 12 innings, with 18 strikeouts.

The much-maligned Atlanta bullpen managed to hold onto the lead. Matzek (a third set) and Chris Martin (a set) both had scoreless outings. Closer Will Smith worked around a Wil Myers brace to win his 19th save.

San Diego starter Yu Darvish (7-4), making his first start since July 8 with back pain, pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits, two goals on balls and three strikeouts. Darvish fell to 0-4 in his career against Atlanta.

Freddie Freeman gave the Braves the lead to stay with a home run against sixth against Darvish. It was Freeman’s 22nd home run and his fifth in the last seven games. Freeman went 2 for 4 and increased his GPA to 0.284.

The Padres threatened in the eighth inning against reliever Martin. Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a single and moved up to second on ground, but was blocked as Manny Machado flew to deep center field.

The Braves got a run in the second inning on Guillermo Heredia’s RBI single, but the Padres tied the game 1-1 on Tommy Pham’s sacrifice ball in the fourth inning.

The teams will end the three-game series with a double header on Wednesday. – Reuters

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