Padres rally behind Norris, Myers to beat Braves 4-3
SAN DIEGO (AP) Derek Norris was just looking to hit a line drive to start a rally. He hit one, all right, right over the fence.
Norris tied the game with a home run leading off the ninth and Wil Myers singled in the winning run to give the San Diego Padres a 4-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
Norris hit the second pitch from Arodys Vizcaino (1-1) over the fence in left-center, his seventh. Alexei Ramirez singled, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Travis Jankowski walked and took second on indifference before Jon Jay lined out to short. Myers then lined a single down the left-field line to bring in Ramirez. The Padres dogpiled Myers.
''That's a fun way to end a baseball game,'' manager Andy Green said.
Norris has been struggling this year and just got his average above .200 this week.
''I was just trying to stay really simple,'' said Norris, who struck out twice and grounded out to third in his previous at-bats. ''I wasn't trying to hit it out of the ballpark, just trying to get a nice line drive, get on base and try and spark something. Fortunately, I got a pitch a little elevated and got it pretty good.''
Green said Norris has been swinging well for the last week.
''He's been hitting the ball really hard. That's a huge swing for us to tie that game up,'' Green said.
''It was a 97-mph fastball in and he turned it around, so it was pretty impressive,'' Myers said.
Myers' winning hit came on a splitter.
''I saw him throw Jay three fastballs so I was ready to hit the fastball, and he just left the changeup right there,'' Myers said.
Matt Thornton (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
The Braves, who lost their sixth straight, have the worst record in the majors, 16-42. The Padres are last in the NL West at 25-35.
Atlanta's Freddie Freeman tripled off the top of the left field wall with two outs in the eighth. The Braves thought the ball hit a fan's glove and should have been a homer. They appealed, but after a 55-second review, the call stood.
''On our replay it looked like a home run,'' Freeman said. ''I'm surprised they took that quick to look at that and not give it any more shot. Clearly on our replay it looks like the glove went down, that fan. Nothing surprises me with replay anymore.''
Manager Brian Snitker agreed.
''If they overturn that homer and that ball hit that glove, if we can see it right here, then that's unacceptable,'' he said.
Former Padres pitcher Casey Kelly had been in line for the win for the Braves before Vizcaino blew a save for the second time in eight chances.
Nick Markakis hit an RBI double with two outs in the first and a sacrifice fly in the third, both off Colin Rea. The Braves took a 3-1 lead in the third on Chase d'Arnaud's RBI single and Markakis' sac fly.
Braves rookie starter Aaron Blair was pulled after loading the bases with one out in the fifth on singles by Jon Jay and Matt Kemp and a walk to Yangervis Solarte. Kelly came on and allowed Melvin Upton Jr.'s sacrifice fly that cut the Braves' lead to 3-2 before striking out Brett Wallace.
Kelly struck out one in 1 2/3 innings. Obtained by the Padres in the deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox in December 2010, Kelly was sent to the Braves for catcher Christian Bethancourt in December.
Blair allowed two runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out four and walked three.
After Markakis gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the first, the Padres tied it on Kemp's RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
Braves left fielder Mallex Smith, a former Padres farmhand, threw out Rea at the plate to end the second and keep it a 1-1 game. Rea singled with two outs and advanced when Jon Jay was hit by a pitch by rookie starter Aaron Blair. Rea tried to score on Myers' single to left but Smith easily threw him out. Smith, a fifth-round draft pick of the Padres in 2012, was sent to Atlanta as part of a trade for Justin Upton in December 2014.
Rea allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked two.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (1-6, 2.92) is scheduled to start the series finale.
Padres: LHP Drew Pomeranz (5-5, 2.22) is scheduled to start the matinee game.