ATLANTA -- R.A. Dickey overcame back-to-back home runs and benefited from those Brandon Phillips and Adonis Garcia produced as the Braves recorded their third straight victory with Saturday night's 4-2 win over the Padres at SunTrust Park.
Phillips and Garcia opened the sixth inning with back-to-back homers off Clayton Richard to provide sufficient support to Dickey. The Braves starter surrendered consecutive one-out homers to Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges in the second inning before blanking the Padres over the remainder of his six-inning stint.
"There's a lot of great things going on right now for us," Dickey said after the Braves improved to 4-6. "We just have to keep the momentum. It's all about us finding the rhythm early on. Now that we have a little more of a routine and not so many days off to navigate around, our guys are getting in a little bit of a groove and we're seeing more of what they're capable of."
After receiving the early advantage courtesy of the home runs by Renfroe and Hedges, Richard allowed four singles and committed a costly balk during the game-tying two-run third inning produced by the Braves, who have now won the first two games played in their new stadium.
It was a vintage outing from Richard, who recorded 14 groundouts without a single flyout. After he allowed four runs in six innings Saturday, Richard has now picked up 36 outs on the ground this season -- and just four in the air.
"His stuff was good, got a ton of ground balls," Padres manager Andy Green said. "Even the hits, for the most part, until the home runs, were on the ground."
While keeping the Padres scoreless over the final three innings, the Braves bullpen extended its scoreless streak to 10 consecutive innings. The relievers have allowed just two hits within this span.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Swanson delivers: Before Nick Markakis delivered the game-tying, two-out single in the third inning, Dansby Swanson put the Braves on the board with an opposite-field single that scored Chase d'Arnaud, who had singled and advanced to second on a potential pickoff that was erased when Richard was charged with a balk. Swanson is batting .159 (7-for-44).
"The kid has confidence, and it wasn't like he's been out there striking out a lot," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He's had some good at-bats and made solid contact. There's going to be a learning curve. He's fine. That was just a really nice stroke he put on it for that RBI."
Instant rally killer: After squandering doubles hit by Wil Myers in the fifth inning and Hedges in the sixth inning, the Padres chased Dickey with two on and none out in the seventh. But the potential rally ended when Jose Ramirez induced a Myers grounder that Swanson fielded in front of second base before flipping to Phillips, who made a barehanded grab before bouncing a throw that Freddie Freeman picked just before Myers reached the bag. The Padres challenged the call, but the double play stood after a replay review.
"We're having fun," Phillips said. "The [double play] we turned today was very beautiful, and Freddie made a nice pick. That was like a game-changer. So, I'm glad Freddie made us look good."
"Who knows if I would've scored. It felt like I was going to. I think I had too much momentum to stop, regardless of if I was or not." -- Richard, on the fan interference during Myers' fifth-inning double, which may have cost the Padres a run
"We're playing a lot less sloppy than we did early on, and it's showing." -- Dickey, exactly one week after saying the Braves' 1-4 start was influenced by sloppy play
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Each of the first four starting pitchers within SunTrust Park's history have recorded a hit. Following the lead Julio Teheran and Jhoulys Chacin provided as they marked in the hit column Friday, Dickey singled in the fourth inning and Richard produced a single in the fifth inning.
GOLD STAR CATCH
Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte's unexpected homer streak was snapped at two games, but the Gold Glover added yet another defensive gem to his portfolio as he covered 54 feet in 3.6 seconds to make a diving catch of Renfroe's sinking liner in the fourth inning. Per Statcast™, it was a four-star play that had only a 32 percent catch probability.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres:Trevor Cahill is slated to return after missing his most recent start with a lower-back strain. He gets the ball for the third game of the four-game set, with first pitch slated for 10:35 a.m. PT. Cahill was mostly sharp in his Padres debut, allowing two earned runs over 5 2/3 frames at Dodger Stadium.
Braves:Bartolo Colon will make his first home start of the season as he opposes Cahill when this series resumes Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET. Colon cruised through his season debut against the Mets, but lasted just four innings in Miami on Tuesday.