ATLANTA — Brandon Phillips, who grew up outside Atlanta rooting for the Braves at Turner Field, didn’t have to wait long for his first home run at his new team’s new home.
Phillips, acquired from Cincinnati before spring training, led off the sixth inning with a tiebreaking homer and Adonis Garcia followed with a blast of his own as the Braves improved to 2-0 at SunTrust Park with a 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.
Veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey pitched into seventh inning and got his first victory in his third start since signing with the Braves as a free agent over the winter.
Dickey (1-1) gave up consecutive homers to Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges in the second inning, but the Braves (4-6) tied it against left-hander Clayton Richard in the third and took the lead in the sixth against the Padres (5-7) on their first back-to-back homers of the year.
It was the first home run of the season for both Phillips and Garcia, with Phillips connecting to left-center field on a 1-0 pitch from Richard (1-2) and Garcia sending a 3-1 offering to right-center to the delight of a second straight sellout of 41,149 at the new ballpark.
Dickey allowed seven hits, two to start the seventh inning before he was pulled, walked one and struck out six.
Reliever Jose Ramirez got out of seventh thanks to a double play niftily turned by Phillips at second base and Jim Johnson pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in as many games.
Richard (1-2) gave up nine hits and four runs in six innings. He walked two and struck out two while dropping to 0-6 for his career against the Braves.
The homers by Renfroe and Hedges in the second inning were the first time the Padres went back-to-back this season and came after Dickey retired the first four batters.
Renfroe deposited a 1-0 knuckler over the fence in left-center field for his third home run and Hedges hit his first of the season to left field on a 1-2 knuckleball.
The Braves tied it in the third with four hits. Dansby Swanson and Nick Markakis delivered RBI singles.
NOTES: Braves Gold Glove CF Ender Inciarte made a diving catch to rob Padres RF Hunter Renfroe of a hit in the fourth inning. … RHP Trevor Cahill (0-1, 3.18 ERA) will come off the 10-day disabled list and pitch for the Padres against the Braves on Sunday. He went on the DL with back tightness after making his first start for the Padres. … RHP Bartolo Colon (0-1, 6.30 ERA) will start for the Braves, with SunTrust Park becoming the 45th major league ballpark where he has pitched. … With his start Saturday against the Padres, RHP R.A. Dickey pitched in his third Atlanta ballpark. He was a member of Team USA in the 1996 Summer Olympics at Fulton County Stadium before pitching in the majors at Turner Field.