When you fail to score after loading the bases with none out, it can be demoralizing. When you do it twice in a span of 16 hours, it’s mind-bogging and probably a good time for a day off.
The Braves will get a day off Monday after losing 4-3 in 10 innings Sunday against the San Diego Padres, who completed a three-game sweep at Petco Park on Everth Cabrera’s walk-off single with two out.
The skidding Braves are 9-16 in their past 25 games — including 0-9 in one-run games — and have dropped all six games on an eight-game trip that concludes at Seattle on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Reliever David Hale gave up two singles and two walks in the 10th inning, and lost even after the Padres had a botched bunt that led to a double play.
After B.J. Upton grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded and the score tied in the seventh inning, Tommy Medica hit a leadoff homer against Braves reliever Anthony Varvaro in the eighth inning to put the Padres ahead 3-2.
But the Braves came back with a ninth-inning run that was almost entirely the work of hot-hitting Jason Heyward. After leading off the inning with a double, his third hit of the game, Heyward advanced on Evan Gattis’ comebacker to reliever Joaquin Benoit, who tried for the out at third base.
Heyward slid head-first and would have been safe regardless, but third baseman Yangervis Solarte had the ball go off his glove and carom far enough away for Heyward to alertly get to his feet and sprint to home plate for the tying run.
The Padres loaded the bases against hard-throwing Braves rookie Juan Jaime in the ninth on a leadoff single, a sacrifice bunt and a pair of two-out walks. The second of those was to Medica on four pitches as Jaime was careful not to give him anything to do more damage than he’d already done against the Braves.
It left Jaime no wiggle room against Jedd Gyorko, who got ahead in the count 3-0. One ball away from potential defeat, Jaime pumped two fastballs that Gyorko took for strikes. One foul ball later, he grounded out to send the game to extra innings.
The Padres got a broken-bat single and walk against Hale to start the inning. With two on and none out, Rene Rivera popped up a bunt that he thought Hale would catch. But the ball landed in front of Hale’s glove. He threw to third for the force, and Chris Johnson threw to first to complete a double play possible only because Rivera had not been running out of the batter’s box on his botched bunt.
But Hale walked the next batter, and after a double steal, Cabrera hit a sharp single to right field to bring the Padres pouring out of their dugout to celebrate for the second time in about 18 hours.
Medica’s home run was his third in the series and made him 13-for-27 (.481) with seven RBIs in seven games against the Braves this season, compared to 31-for-130 (.238) with four homers and 15 RBIs in 57 games against everyone else.
For a complete version of this story including postgame quotes, please go to MyAJC.com or use this link.