Braves Padres Baseball

Braves’ Josh Donaldson, left, slides into home ahead of the catch by Padres catcher Francisco Mejia during the eighth inning in San Diego on Sunday.

The Atlanta Braves came out of the All-Star break just as hot as they went in.

The Braves (56-37) swept the San Diego Padres in a three-game set and increased their lead in the NL East to seven games over the Washington Nationals.

Third baseman Josh Donaldson picked up where he left off at the end of the first half. In the three-game series he hit .400, hit three home runs, drove in six and walked three times. He has returned to the kind of player he was when he won the 2015 AL MVP after hitting .297 with 41 homers and 123 RBIs with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Atlanta now will complete its road trip with a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers (48-46) come into Monday’s game in second place in the NL Central, 2 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs.

Last year’s NL MVP, Christian Yelich, may be on his way to another one. He is hitting .330 with 32 home runs and 68 RBIs. Second baseman Mike Moustakas is also having an All-Star season, hitting .265 with 25 homers and 54 RBIs, along with catcher Yasmani Grandal at .253, 19 homers and 53 RBI.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Max Fried (9-4, 4.29 ERA) will open the series looking to get out of the fifth inning. In his last two starts, the 25-year-old has allowed 19 hits and eight runs in 10 innings. In each game Fried has pitched at least six innings, he is 8-0 this season.

The Brewers will counter with Adrian Houser (2-3, 4.01). The 26-year-old righthander is a relief pitcher by trade, but he has made five starts this season. His last two starts have been the longest outings of the season at four and five innings respectively. Most outings this season has lasted two or fewer innings.

Tuesday, Bryse Wilson (1-0, 6.14) will get the ball coming off his best start of the season. Wilson pitched six innings, allowing five hits and two runs in a win against Philadelphia on July 3. He is expected to face Brandon Woodruff (10-3, 3.67). Dallas Keuchel (3-2, 3.09) is expected to close the series against Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson (4-2, 4.27).

ON THE AIR

All three games of the series will be broadcast by Fox Sports Southeast. Monday and Tuesday’s games will begin at 8 p.m., with Wednesday’s at 2 p.m. All three games can be heard on the radio at 680 AM The Fan and Rock 100.5 FM.

John Bednarowski is the sports editor of the Marietta Daily Journal and the former president of the Associated Press Sports Editors. He can be reached at sportseditor@mdjonline.com or on Twitter @jbednarowski

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