ATLANTA — Atlanta Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb hadn’t lost since his opening start of the season until falling to the Dodgers in Los Angeles last Sunday, ending a six-game winning streak.
Now Newcomb gets a chance to bounce back against one of the teams he blanked during the streak as the Braves face the San Diego Padres on Saturday in the third game of their four-game series at SunTrust Park.
The Padres ended an eight-game losing streak in Atlanta on Friday night, beating the National League East-leading Braves 7-3 for their 12th victory in the past 17 games.
Newcomb (7-2, 2.92 ERA) held the Padres (34-38) to three singles in six scoreless innings at San Diego on June 5 in a 14-1 rout that was the only victory for the Braves (40-29) in that three-game series.
Newcomb’s performance was a near duplicate of his first major league victory last June in San Diego and gave him a 1.31 ERA during a seven-start stretch.
“Every time he goes on the mound you’re pretty confident we are going to get the win that day,” Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said after going 4-for-4 with a homer. “He’s been lights-out for a long time.”
Newcomb hit a speed bump against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, though.
The 24-year-old native of Massachusetts gave up two first-pitch home runs, one on a three-run shot in the third inning, and allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-2 loss.
“I’ll do everything I can to not let it happen again,” Newcomb said. “I’ll take away the positives and move forward.”
Padres starter Jordan Lyles (2-3, 4.83 ERA) gave up eight runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Braves made things easy for Newcomb in San Diego and the 27-year-old right-hander took another loss in his most recent start.
Lyles again allowed 11 hits and this time four runs in six innings against the Cardinals in St. Louis, getting just three swings and misses on 102 pitches.
Lyles’ rough stretch followed some impressive work in May after he was moved into the rotation from the bullpen. He took a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies in his second start and ended up allowing a hit and a walk while striking out 10 in 7 1/3 innings.
The Padres are the only major league team to never throw a no-hitter and Lyles was pitching against the team that released him last August.
“It would have been sweet regardless,” Lyles said afterward.
Lyles has a 6.35 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Braves, with the loss in San Diego last week his only decision.
Both Newcomb and Lyles are former first-round draft choices.
Newcomb, acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in the Andrelton Simmons trade after the 2015 season, was the 15th overall pick in 2014.
Lyles was drafted by Houston as the 38th overall pick in 2008 and traded to Colorado after the 2013 season.