Brandon Hernández 8 a.m., Dec. 19
Padres starter Edinson Volquez is in a slump, mired in a streak where he can't get out of the fifth inning. Amazing stuff, considering that just a under a month ago, Volquez pitched a one-hit complete game shutout against the Houston Astros.
On Wednesday, Volquez only managed three and two-thirds innings before coming out of the game, giving up all runs scored by the Braves. Atlanta beat the Padres Wednesday 6-1, ensuring at least a split of the four-game series.
The first inning was quick and painless, but the Padres had an opportunity in the top of the second, after Carlos Quentin doubled to open up the inning. Yonder Alonso grounded out, moving Quentin to third base, setting up the possibility for a sacrifice fly.
Cameron Maybin then grounded back to the pitcher, freezing Quentin at third. After Everth Cabrera walked, Nick Hundley grounded out to end the threat.
In the top of the third inning with two out, the Padres got on the board. Logan Forsythe socked a slider from Braves starter Paul Maholm over the left field wall and the Padres led 1-0. It was Forsythe's third home run of the year.
The Braves came back right away in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Martin Prado singled up the middle, and Jason Heyward doubled, Prado taking third base.
Freddie Freeman then hit back to pitcher Edinson Volquez, who had Martin Prado hung up between third base and home plate, and the lead runner was cut down, with Heyward taking third and Prado second base. But with two outs, Dan Uggla belted his 15th home run of the season to left field, and after three innings, Atlanta took a 3-1 lead.
One inning later, things got worse for Volquez. With one out, Edinson hit Paul Janish with an errant curve ball, and Braves pitcher Paul Maholm hit a ground ball and reached third base, moving Janish to third base with two outs when the throw failed to get Janish.
Michael Bourn then grounded out, scoring Janish and moving Maholm to second base. Now with two outs, Jason Heyward hit his second consecutive double off of Volquez, plating Janish and Maholm.
Volquez was replaced by Miles Mikolas, who got Freddie Freeman to fly out, but the damage was done, and the game over early, as the Braves took a 6-1 lead that would not be threatened.
Padres relievers did an excellent job between Miles Mikolas, Cory Burns, and Brad Brach in shutting down the Braves after the fourth inning, but Braves pitching was equally up to the task. The Padres only managed one run on six hits.
San Diego fell to 52-67 while the Braves climbed to 68-49 on the season. Edinson Volquez is now 7-9 while Paul Maholm improves to 11-7.
Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal had his first rehab start since going on the disabled list with a strained lat. Grandal was the designated hitter on Wednesday for the Lake Elsinore Storm, going 0-4 and striking out three times.
On Thursday, the Padres will send Jason Marquis (8-10, 5.05) to the mound to face the Braves' Kris Medlin (3-1, 2.28). Game is in progress, and you're either tuned in to XX 1090 AM for radio or watching on Fox Sports San Diego or else you have Time Warner or AT&T U-verse with no radio and are wondering why San Diego is so humid and thankfully you have the Weather Channel because that's more interesting. Apparently, according to those guys.