David Hale was nearly flawless in his Major League debut, but the Atlanta Braves bullpen couldn't hold onto a three-run lead in a 4-3 loss to the San Diego Padres at Turner Field on Friday.
Hale, who set a franchise record with nine strikeouts in his Braves debut, held the Padres scoreless over his five innings. He was given a three-run lead in the fourth inning when Justin Upton and Brian McCann each hit homers off Ian Kennedy.
But Luis Ayala gave up two runs on three hits in his inning plus, and Jordan Walden took the hit for the blown save and loss. Chase Headley tied the game in the eighth with a homer off Walden, and Logan Forsythe would add an RBI-single to give the Padres the lead and win.
All told, the sputtering Atlanta offense managed only five hits spread between three people – Upton, McCann and Freddie Freeman. They went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
On the bright side, Hale was brilliant in his first MLB start. The Georgia native and Princeton University graduate plowed through the San Diego lineup, giving up just one walk and four hits through five innings. The first four outs he recorded in his big league career were all by strikeout.
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