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David Hale impresses in debut, but Braves bullpen blows the lead and lose 4-3 to Padres

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Hale struck out nine in five innings and received support in the form of home runs from Justin Upton and Brian McCann, but Atlanta's bullpen couldn't hold the lead.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

David Hale was cruising merrily along, had a 3-0 lead with his family at the game, but then everything went straight to...well, you know. After all, it is Friday the 13th.

The Atlanta bullpen coughed up the lead, and the offense went stale after the fourth inning as the Braves fell to the Padres 4-3.

Hale was impressive with five of the first seven outs he recorded coming via strikeout and had nine through five innings. His nine strikeouts set a new Braves record for a debut.

Ian Kennedy, meanwhile, didn't allow a hit through three innings; he and Hale dueled until Justin Upton and Brian McCann tagged the San Diego starter for home runs in the fourth.

Hale left after five innings, but then some odd bullpen management allowed the Padres back into the game. Luis Ayala worked a perfect sixth, but then gave up three straight weakly hit singles to load the bases in the seventh. Luis Avilan then entered the game and allowed an infield hit to Jesus Guzman that scored the first Padres run. One out later, David Carpenter comes in and Chris Denorfia hits a sacrifice fly.

Then everything immediately fell apart in the eighth, Chase Headley ruined the chance for Hale to get the win with a game-tying home run off Jordan Walden. To make matters worse, a one-out walk led to Logan Forsythe singling home the go-ahead run.

After McCann's homer, Atlanta managed only three baserunners the rest of the game.

This was a tough loss to watch. Not only did Hale lose his chance at a win, Atlanta lost its fourth in a row to the Padres. It also doesn't help that the Nats have forgotten how to lose. The magic number is still at six.

Win Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs