Padres rally against Kolb in ninth for sixth straight win
SAN DIEGO (Ticker) --
is doing just fine in his return to the rotation. His replacement as the
' closer is not experiencing the same success.
Smoltz allowed one run in eight strong innings, but
delivered the game-winning hit against
in the bottom of the ninth inning as the
San Diego Padres
posted their sixth straight win, a 3-2 triumph over the Braves.
A former 24-game winner who recorded 144 saves over the last three seasons, Smoltz was moved back into the rotation when the Braves acquired Kolb, an All-Star in 2004, in the offseason.
Smoltz yielded just three hits in seven innings until Greene led off the eighth with a double and scored two batters later on
' sacrifice fly, cutting the Padres' deficit to 2-1.
"I felt good, but had an extended eighth inning," said Smoltz, who struck out five and threw 108 pitches. "I don't think I could've gone out for another one."
"(Smoltz) threw great, you can't pitch much better," Braves manager
said. "He's been outstanding. He should have won more games by now."
Kolb (1-4) took over in the ninth and immediately issued a four-pitch walk to former Brave
followed with a single to put runners on the corners and
hit a high chopper to shortstop that scored Klesko and tied the score.
"Our whole plan was to get (Smoltz) out of there," Klesko said. "We were glad to see he wasn't out there in the ninth."
"(Smoltz) was on," Nevin said. "Not to take anything away from Kolb, he's a heck of a closer, but we knew if we got out in their pen, we had a shot."
was walked intentionally by Kolb before Greene blooped an 0-2 pitch into left field to lift San Diego to its third straight come-from-behind win.
"That was quite a comeback," said Padres manager
, whose team has won 15 of its last 18 contests. "That's a great win, because when you're going against Smoltz, you have your work cut out for you."
On Sunday, the Padres scored 10 runs in the seventh en route to a 12-4 win over the
and rallied for three runs in the eighth Monday in the series opener with the Braves. San Diego has outscored its opponents 86-28 after the seventh inning and are 12-3 in one-run games this season.
"When you get it done a few times, you get a sense of confidence that you've got the opportunity to come back," Greene said. "We've done it before and we knew we could do it again. It's just a different feeling when you've been winning consistently."
It was the second straight time that Kolb, who has walked 16 in 16 2/3 innings this season, has blown a game that was started by Smoltz.
"A win is a win, a save is a save," said Kolb, who has three blown saves in 13 chances. "It doesn't matter who is pitching."
Filling in for the injured
pitched five effective innings for San Diego, yielding just a sacrifice fly to
in the fifth that gave Atlanta a 1-0 edge.
doubled the lead in the eighth with a solo shot against
. It was Jones' fifth homer in six games and 10th of the season.
(2-0) recorded the final out in the top of the ninth for the win.
Padres second baseman
sprained his left thumb diving into first base on an infield single in the third inning. He was replaced by
in the fifth and will be re-evaluated by a hand specialist Wednesday.
Braves All-Star third baseman
was scratched from the lineup with a left oblique strain. He is listed as day-to-day.
filled-in and had a pair of hits for Atlanta, which has lost four of six. The Braves have held the lead in the eighth or ninth inning in all four of the losses.