1969: Padres Rally Late, Earn Split with Braves in Atlanta

May 1, 1969, Atlanta: Padres 4, Braves 3 (box score)

May began for the Padres in the same way April had — with a win. Dick Kelley and Ron Reed started this one in front of 5,854 fans at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.

Kelley hadn’t pitched well in his first start against the Braves on April 22, and he fared even worse on this day. After allowing three hits, a walk, and a wild pitch over the first two innings, Kelley lost it in the third. Two walks, an Orlando Cepeda triple, an error, and a Clete Boyer double gave the Braves a 3-0 lead.

The Padres battled back with two runs in the top of the fourth. Ollie Brown led off with a double. With one out, Larry Stahl and Ed Spiezio knocked singles to pull the visiting team to within one run. Ivan Murrell, pinch hitting for Kelley, made the final out.

Tommie Sisk replaced Kelley on the mound and tossed three perfect innings to keep the game close. The score remained 3-2 until the top of the eighth, when Ramon Pena drove a one-out double off Reed. Closer Cecil Upshaw came in to wrap things up, but Tony Gonzalez had other ideas. He knocked a two-run homer to give the Padres their first lead of the contest.

Jack Baldschun, who came on for the Padres in the seventh, worked the final three innings to earn the victory. The ninth inning provided a little excitement, as Baldschun loaded the bases before inducing Felix Millan to bounce out to Spiezio at third for the last out.

Trivia: The attendance at this game would be the lowest of the season at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.

Elsewhere in the world: Fred Rogers testified before a U.S. Senate committee on the importance of public television.

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