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ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves are glad that their four-game series with the San Diego Padres beginning Thursday night is at home rather than in San Diego.

The Braves swept four games from the Padres in the opening series for new SunTrust Park in April 2017 and have almost nothing but success against the team in Atlanta.

It has been exactly the opposite in San Diego [url=http://www.seattleseahawksteamonline.com/michael-dickson-jersey]Authentic Michael Dickson Jersey[/url] , though.

The Padres took two of three from Atlanta in San Diego last week, and the Braves have dropped 16 of their last 19 games in the Padres’ home stadium while being outscored 98-59 over the stretch of futility.

The Braves have lost eight straight series at San Diego dating to 2011, but own an all-time record of 186-122 against the Padres in Atlanta.

The Braves (39-28) went 2-4 on their road trip against the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, but returned home to sweep a two-game series from the New York Mets and regain sole possession of first place in the National League East.

The Padres (33-37) have won five straight series after taking two of three at St. Louis and own 11 wins in their past 15 games.

Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 2.37 ERA) will start the series opener for the Braves, with fellow right-hander Tyson Ross (5-3, 3.43) going for San Diego.

Sanchez has made three starts since spending six weeks on the disabled list because of a hamstring strain and is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in the past two, allowing just five hits in 12 1/3 innings.

Atlanta has won Sanchez’s last four starts, with the 34-year-old getting a no-decision in his best outing since signing a minor league contract in spring training after being released by Minnesota.

In that game, Sanchez worked seven innings against Washington on June 3 and allowed just two hits and two unearned runs while walking one and striking out five.

“He’s got a great feel for pitching and knows what he’s doing [url=http://www.seattleseahawksteamonline.com/alex-mcgough-jersey]Authentic Alex McGough Jersey[/url] ,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I think his stuff is better than what I was led to believe when we signed him. He’s sneaky. He knows what he’s doing. He can change speeds and he locates the fastball well.”

Sanchez has made five career starts against San Diego, losing his only two decisions but posting a 2.76 ERA.

The Padres have won the last six games started by Ross and are 10-3 in his outings this season.

“When it’s your turn to take the ball, you have to believe that you’re the ace,” Ross said. “It’s a rotation of five, but when it’s your turn to go, you have to give the team a chance to win.”

Ross won a combined 23 games for San Diego in 2014 and 2015, and was the Padres’ Opening Day starter in 2016. That was his only outing of the season, though, as thoracic outlet surgery forced him to miss the rest of the year as well as the first part of 2017 after he signed as a free agent with Texas.

The 31-year-old California native made 10 starts and two relief appearances for the Rangers last year, going 3-3 with a 7.71 ERA.

Ross has faced the Braves four times [url=http://www.seattleseahawksteamonline.com/sebastian-janikowski-jersey]Authentic Sebastian Janikowski Jersey[/url] , with one appearance in relief, and is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA.

When Paul Blackburn needed 47 pitches to make it through the first two innings, it didn’t seem he would last long for the Oakland Athletics.

Then Blackburn found his groove and led the streaking A’s to another win.

Blackburn pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning and Oakland won its fifth straight game, beating the Cleveland Indians 3-1 on Friday night.

”It was just finding a tempo and rhythm,” Blackburn said. ”It’s something I’ve struggled with the first couple of innings. Once I get over that hump in the second inning, I feel like everything is more put together.”

Marcus Semien and Khris Davis drove in runs against Trevor Bauer (7-6) as the A’s followed up a four-game sweep at Detroit with a win in the opener of a five-game homestand.

Jed Lowrie provided insurance with a solo homer in the eighth off Zach McAllister to move Oakland a season-high seven games over .500.

”Games like that, it feels like a 10-run homer,” manager Bob Melvin said. ”The guys coming to the plate get your attention in the last inning. It was paramount. It gives you a little bit of wiggle room.”

Blake Treinen allowed two baserunners in the ninth before earning his 21st save in 23 chances. He has converted 18 straight save opportunities.

Blackburn (2-2) had a 12.70 ERA his past three starts and struggled early against Cleveland, with four of the first seven batters reaching base safely. But a caught stealing and a double play helped him make it through the first two innings unscathed and he settled down from there.

He retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced, allowing only a two-out walk to Yonder Alonso in the fourth before leaving after retiring Edwin Encarnacion to open the seventh. Blackburn allowed three hits and struck out five.

Francisco Lindor hit an RBI double off Yusmeiro Petit in the eighth inning for Cleveland.

The A’s [url=http://www.seattleseahawksteamonline.com/byron-maxwell-jersey]Authentic Byron Maxwell Jersey[/url] , who score nearly two fewer runs per game at home than on the road, managed to get single runs against Bauer in the second and sixth innings. Matt Olson doubled in the second and scored on Semien’s two-out hit.

Oakland added an insurance run in the sixth when Matt Joyce singled and scored on Davis’ double.

”He seemed to be very patient so I wanted to make a point of getting ahead in that count,” Bauer said. ”He hit a bad pitch. He’s a good hitter. That’s what you’re supposed to do with hanging breaking balls, hit them.”

Bauer allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight. His 148 strikeouts are the most for a Cleveland pitcher before the end of June since Sam McDowell had 151 in 1970.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Manager Terry Francona said the team will have a decision soon on the status of injured starter Danny Salazar, who has been on the DL all season with a right shoulder injury. Francona said the team is ”exploring some things” and said he would have more information in the next couple of days.

Athletics: 3B Matt Chapman (hand) took grounders and hit off a tee. He will take BP on Sunday and could be back as early as next week. … RHP Andrew Triggs (right arm nerve irritation) had his rehab shut down because he felt tingling in fingers. He will get a second opinion next week. … RHP Trevor Cahill (right Achilles) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session and will either have a lengthier bullpen session or simulation game next in his rehab.

UP NEXT

Edwin Jackson (0-0) makes his second start for Oakland after allowing one run in six innings of a no-decision in his debut against Detroit. His nine-game winning streak against Cleveland is the longest since Storm Davis also won nine straight vs. the Indians from 1986-92. Adam Plutko (4-1) starts for Cleveland.