SAN DIEGO -- Six days ago, when Colin Rea climbed atop the mound for his Major League debut for the Padres, a group of 75 friends and family from tiny Cascade, Iowa, intently watched from their seats at Petco Park as he defeated the Reds.
On Monday, Rea made his second start with even more success -- even if there was far less fanfare as the Padres edged the Braves, 5-3.
"You don't want to say [the debut is] a distraction, but at the same time, it was nice to just kind of come to the field today and just worry about pitching, not worry about anything else," Rea said.
Rea allowed two earned runs on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings to become the seventh pitcher in franchise history to win each of his first two big league starts.
"I thought he was better tonight," said Padres interim manager Pat Murphy. "The breaking ball was good, the little baby cutter good. Even a splitter, too, which was good.
"I thought he commanded his fastball, for the most part. I am real pleased with what he did. He showed great poise, for the most part."
Rea allowed a home run to former Padre Cameron Maybin in the fourth inning and then a two-out RBI single to A.J. Pierzynski in the sixth inning that cut the Padres' lead to 5-2. That's when Murphy went to his bullpen.
"I felt the fastball was working pretty good. I was getting ahead with that. Also just throwing a few curveballs in there," Rea said. "[The curveball] is a feel pitch. I feel like when it's going good, you've got to use it."
Three of Rea's four strikeouts came on curveballs.
As for pitching in front of far fewer friends and family -- only Rea's wife, Megan, was in attendance Monday -- Rea said it helped clear his head.
"I was [still] pretty excited. I was still nervous. But I was able to focus on the game instead of everything else going on around," he said.
Back home in Iowa, a group of 30 gathered at the family's property to watch the game on a projection screen, with several bars in town also showing the game.
Unlike last week at Petco Park, sections Nos. 111 and 115 -- where his friends and family sat for his debut -- remained mostly quiet.
"I'm sure," Rea said, smiling. "I didn't really look up there."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.