Padres 14, Braves 4
ATLANTA (AP)—One pitch. One hit. Another pitch. Another hit.
That’s the way it went all night for the San Diego Padres, who pounded Greg Maddux for 13 hits in five innings, tied a franchise record with 24 hits and went on to rout the Atlanta Braves 14-4 Tuesday night.
“Once a year you have a game like that,” said Rondell White, who had four hits and three RBIs. “We were due to score a lot of runs. Everybody got their pitch.”
The NL East-leading Braves matched a season high with their third straight loss, and this one was downright ugly. San Diego equaled the team record for hits set on April 19, 1982, vs. San Francisco.
The Padres’ previous season high was 16 hits. It wasn’t a season worst for the Braves, who gave up 25 hits in a 20-1 loss at Florida on July 1.
“One of those nights,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “Everything they hit found a hole and we just didn’t pitch very good.”
Maddux (11-9) had won five straight decisions, but he was behind in this one just three pitches into the game.
Loretta was just a brief respite for Maddux, who was up in the strike zone all night. The next four hitters also singled, with Phil Nevin and White picking up RBIs. The Padres batted around while building a 3-0 lead before the Braves even came to bat.
“The first inning really didn’t bother me,” Maddux said. “Sometimes you get hit. You’ve got to tip your cap.”
Adam Eaton (7-8) was the beneficiary. The Padres starter was taken out after the first three hitters in the sixth reached base, but that was long enough to win for the fifth time in his last six decisions.
Maddux was mercifully lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth, probably keeping him from reaching an inglorious mark. The four-time Cy Young Award winner gave up a career-high 14 hits during a May 15, 1999, start against the Chicago Cubs.
This was the third time Maddux surrendered 13 hits in a game. He left trailing 5-1.
“We’re trying to get Maddux’s numbers up so we don’t have to pay him as much next year,” Nevin joked. “We want him to be in San Diego next year.”
The Padres poured it on with seven runs in the ninth off struggling reliever Roberto Hernandez, including a homer by Gary Matthews Jr. While only two of the runs were earned because of an error by Rafael Furcal, it was another dismal outing for Hernandez.
“I’m very disappointed in myself,” Hernandez said. “I’m sorry for the fans of Atlanta. This isn’t me.”
Every San Diego starter except Eaton had at least one hit. Nevin, Gary Bennett and Loretta each drove in two runs.
The Braves have lost three in a row for the first time since getting swept by Montreal to start the season.
Atlanta made a brief run at the Padres. Slumping Chipper Jones, apparently bolstered by a visit from his dad and part-time hitting coach, homered in the fourth and drove in another run during a three-run sixth.
In that inning, Gary Sheffield had a run-scoring double that barely stayed fair down the left-field line, then Jones followed with a line-hugging triple into the right-field corner. Robert Fick’s grounder drove in Jones, cutting the San Diego lead to 6-4. Atlanta never got any closer.
Jones also doubled, but missed out on the easiest part of the cycle, asingle.
The Braves unveiled a statue honoring Warren Spahn in the plaza outside Turner Field. The bronze monument captures the famous high leg kick that carried Spahn to 363 career wins, the most of any left-hander in baseball history. All but seven of those wins came with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves. Spahn retired in 1965, a year before the Braves moved to Atlanta. Still, the 82-year-old Spahn, now confined to a wheelchair, traveled from Broken Arrow, Okla., to attend the dedication, which also was witnessed by Hall of Famer Whitey Ford. “I am pleased that baseball thought enough of me to scare the people, if you will, with the statue here,” Spahn quipped. His statue joins those of Hank Aaron, Phil Niekro and Ty Cobb in “Monument Grove.” … Padres 3B Sean Burroughs was plunked on the right ankle with a pitch from Jason Marquis in the seventh inning. After writhing on the ground for several minutes, Burroughs managed to make it to first. But he left the game in the bottom half, replaced at third by Lou Merloni. … Braves RHP Will Cunnane madehis Braves debut in the eighth, giving up a run on two hits and a walk.