Freddie Freeman homered off Yu Darvish in the sixth inning, Touki Toussaint permitted one run and three hits in his season debut, and the Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Toussaint, who missed the first 3½ months rehabbing a right shoulder strain, retired the first seven batters he faced before walking Victor Caratini in the third. He didn’t allow a hit until Manny Machado doubled with one out in the fourth.
The Padres tied it 1-all in the fourth when Jake Cronenworth was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on Machado’s double and scored on Tommy Pham’s sacrifice fly. Wil Myers flied out on a broken-bat flare as Toussaint escaped a bases-loaded jam.
Freeman made it 2-1 by taking Darvish deep over the wall in left field with an opposite-field shot, his 22nd homer. The All-Star first baseman and reigning NL MVP has five homers in his last seven games.
Toussaint (1-0) walked two and struck out five in 6 2/3 innings. He was relieved by Tyler Matzek, who ended a threat with runners on first and second when pinch-hitter Jurickson Profar flied out.
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Darvish (7-4) was making his first start since July 8 after a stint on the injured list due to left hip inflammation.
The All-Star retired nine in a row until Toussaint walked with two outs in the fifth.
Darvish, who struck out Joc Pederson to end the inning, was chased when Stephen Vogt walked to put runners on first and second in the sixth. He allowed four hits and two runs with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Atlanta’s bullpen finally held a lead — the Braves have lost 10 times when leading after six innings, tied with Arizona for most in the majors. Chris Martin faced four batters in the eighth. Will Smith earned his 19th save in 21 opportunities after facing four batters in the ninth.
The Braves led 1-0 in the second when Abraham Almonte, who was hitting .169 in his last 22 games, doubled with two outs and scored from second on Guillermo Heredia’s single.
Atlanta, which hasn’t been over .500 this year, moved to 46-47. It had lost three of four and was in third place, 4½ games back in the NL East.
San Diego fell to 55-42. The Padres had dropped three of five and were in third place, 5½ games back in the NL West.
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