Jul 28, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana (30) delivers a pitch to a San Diego Padres batter in the second inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Ervin Santana dominates as Atlanta Braves down San Diego Padres

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The Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres, 2-0, on a getaway Monday in Atlanta thanks to a dominant pitching performance from starting pitcher Ervin Santana. The win clinched the series for Atlanta (58-48) as they prepare to head west for a crucial left-coast swing beginning Tuesday night in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

Santana (10-6) was masterful on the mound, going 8 innings while tying a career high with 11 strikeouts. “Big Erv” held San Diego (46-59) to just five hits for the ballgame. The Braves right-hander threw 102 pitches on the afternoon with 77 of those crossing the plate for strikes.

The game was scoreless until Evan Gattis led off the 7th inning with a solo home run to left field off of Padres starter Jason Lane (0-1). For Gattis, the home run was his first since returning from the DL after the all-star break. The Braves catcher tacked on another RBI in the 9th when he drove in Justin Upton with a base hit to right. Craig Kimbrel closed the door for the 32nd time this season while striking out the side in the 9th.

Atlanta’s offense was silenced for the first six innings by converted outfielder and first time starter Jason Lane. Lane went 6+ innings while allowing just one run on six hits. Lane was replaced in the 7th after a Chris Johnson single followed the Gattis long ball.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Braves game without a highlight play from shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Simmons made a barehanded play up the middle on a ball hit by Will Venable that looked like something off of a videogame. It was magical by ordinary shortstop standards, but simply another day at the office for Simmons.

The Braves will begin a series with the Dodgers on Tuesday night as Aaron Harang (9-6, 3.31) looks to become the third ten-win pitcher for Atlanta when he takes on Josh Beckett (6-5, 2.52).

Injury Note: Jason Heyward was replaced by Ryan Doumit in the 4th due to “lower back soreness.” He is day-to-day for now. Stay tuned to ATL All Day for updates on the Braves right fielder.

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