1969: Padres Finish April with Loss in Atlanta

April 30, 1969, Atlanta: Braves 6, Padres 3 (box score)

Play-by-play data for this game are incomplete. We know that Phil Niekro started for the Braves and went the distance; we know that Nate Colbert hit his fifth homer of the season.

Gary Ross got the start for San Diego, but faced just three batters. After retiring the first two and issuing a walk to Hank Aaron, Ross yielded to Leon Everitt, who allowed 5 runs over 5 1/3 innings and took the loss.

Colbert and Tony Gonzalez (who also homered) were the only offensive threats for the Padres in this one. Felix Millan and Tito Francona each collected two hits for the Braves, with Francona driving in half of his teams six runs.

The Padres finished their first month in the National League with a somewhat respectable 9-14 record. They were in fifth place in the NL West, 7 games back of first-place San Francisco and 5 1/2 ahead of last-place Houston.

As a team, the Padres batted .207/.277/.301 for the month of April. Although Colbert started just 12 of his team’s 23 games in the month, he was the offensive star, batting .306/.370/.735 in 55 plate appearances. Ollie Brown, another key contributor, batted .294/.333/.529 in 90 plate appearances.

On the other side, Padres’ pitchers posted a 4.01 ERA. Al Santorini’s 1.88 ERA over 24 innings paced the staff.

Trivia: No team in the big leagues would finish with a lower winning percentage (.309) or score fewer runs (405) than the Padres from May 1 to season’s end.

Bonus trivia: Cincinnati’s Jim Maloney no-hit the Astros for MLB’s second no-no of the young season. The following day, Houston’s Don Wilson would return the favor.

Elsewhere in the world: Marvin Gaye’s M.P.G. was released (see also review by Rolling Stone‘s Jack Egan).

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