ATLANTA — Ender Inciarte matched his homer total for all of last season with his third in two games and the Atlanta Braves made the opening of SunTrust Park a winning one Friday night.
Inciarte, who had homered twice at Miami on Wednesday, connected for a two-run blast against San Diego reliever Craig Stammen in the sixth inning and the Braves defeated the Padres 5-2 before a sellout crowd of 41,149.
“It was a special night for all of us, but it was definitely an extra special night of me,” Inciarte said.
With the Braves ahead by a run, Stammen replaced Padres starter Jhoulys Chacin after a leadoff walk in the sixth inning and got two outs before Inciarte picked on a 3-1 pitch and lined a homer over the right-field fence.
“I swung hard and got the good result,” said Inciarte, who won a Gold Glove for his work in center field last year and batted .291. “I was looking for that pitch. I knew it was gone. That is all I’ve got.”
Julio Teheran wasn’t nearly as sharp as he had been while not allowing an earned run in his first two starts, but the right-hander got the victory despite allowing 11 baserunners in six innings.
Teheran (1-0) gave up five hits, walked four and hit two batters, but allowed just two runs and helped himself at the plate with an RBI hit.
“He was beatable tonight and we didn’t take advantage of it,” said Padres manager Andy Green, bemoaning how his team had chased too many pitches out of the strike zone.
Chacin (1-2) took the loss despite going 2-for-2 and driving in a run. The right-hander was charged with four runs in five-plus innings while giving up eight hits, walking four and striking out three.
Nick Markakis’ two-run double in the first inning gave the Braves (3-6) a quick 2-0 lead. But Chacin and Manuel Margot had two-out RBI singles in the second to tie the game for the Padres (5-6) as Teheran’s streak of not allowing an earned run came to an end at 23 2/3 innings dating to last season.
It was Teheran’s turn to produce a timely hit in the fourth inning. His infield single with two outs put the Braves back ahead as Tyler Flowers scored from second base as the throw to first base bounced away from Wil Myers.
“Wil comes up with that nine out of 10 times,” Green said.
Jim Johnson pitched through a one-out single in the ninth inning to record his second save in three chances for the Braves after Jose Ramirez and Arodys Vizcaino each pitched a perfect inning.
Freddie Freeman reached base three times for the Braves on a double, single and walk, scoring once. In addition to his two-run homer, Inciarte had a leadoff infield single and scored the Braves’ first of two runs in the opening inning.
The Braves had dominated the Padres for most of the past 20 years at Turner Field, where they swept a three-game series last season.
This victory carried a lot more meaning, though, for the Braves and their fans.
“I really hope we get this energy every single game,” Inciarte said. “Everybody was pumped in the dugout and you could feel the excitement of the crowd. It was a great way to get everything started here.”
NOTES: Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron tossed the ceremonial first pitch to Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox during pregame ceremonies that also spotlighted Braves’ legends Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Dale Murphy and Phil Niekro. … The game did not start until 7:53 p.m. ET because of the festivities. … SunTrust Park and the neighboring entertainment district Battery Atlanta are about 13 miles from Turner Field, the Braves’ downtown home for the previous 20 seasons. … San Diego reinstated C Hector Sanchez from the concussion disabled list and recalled RHP Kevin Quackenbush from Triple-A El Paso. … The Padres optioned OF Jabari Blash and RHP Jake Esch to El Paso. … The Braves recalled RHP Luke Jackson from Triple-A Gwinnett and optioned RHP Jason Hursh to the same team. … RHP R.A. Dickey (0-1, 4.76 ERA) will start for the Braves on Saturday night in the second game of four-game series, with LHP Clayton Richard (1-1, 2.57 ERA) pitching for the Padres.