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Touki Toussaint dazzles as Braves knock off Padres 2-1

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Toussaint was brilliant in his debut.

San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Touki Toussaint out dueled Yu Darvish in his season debut to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres.

The Braves struck first in the second against Darvish. Abraham Almonte yanked a double into the right field corner and then came around to score on another two-base hit by Guillermo Heredia. Heredia now has 22 doubles on the season which is second on the team behind Ozzie Albies.

Toussaint was locked in through the first three innings and a walk to Victor Caratini with one out in the third was his only blemish. He ran into some trouble in the fourth when he hit Jake Cronenworth and then served up a line drive double to Manny Machado to put runners at second and third with just one out.

Tommy Pham followed with a sacrifice fly to left that scored Cronenworth to tie the game. Toussaint recovered and got Wil Myers to fly out to escape further damage.

Following Heredia’s double in the second, Darvish retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced before Freddie Freeman got a fastball up and drove it out to the opposite field for a solo home run to give Atlanta back the lead. Freeman continues to sizzle and has five home runs in his last seven games.

Toussaint sat the down the side in order in the fifth and sixth. He retired the first two batters of the seventh before Myers and Caratini reached with back-to-back singles. Toussaint would then give way to Tyler Matzek who fell behind pinch hitter Jurickson Profar 3-1 but got him to fly out harmlessly to right to end the inning.

Toussaint was excellent in his 2021 debut. He was more aggressive than what we have seen from him previously and was able to keep a good Padres lineup off balance all night. He allowed just three hits and one run over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.

Chris Martin allowed an infield single to Fernando Tatis Jr. but left him stranded at second. Will Smith retired Pham and Eric Hosmer to begin the ninth before Myers doubled down the line in left. However, Smith came back and got Caratini to ground out to Albies to end the game.

Atlanta improves to 46-47 on the season and will try to clinch a series win in Wednesday’s doubleheader. Toussaint was the story in this one but the bullpen inherited a lead and was able to protect it.