Jurrjens, Reyes rocked in 17-2 Braves loss

SAN DIEGO – Walking Tony Gwynn on four pitches with the bases loaded would've been bad enough. Walking Tony Gwynn Jr. on four pitches with the bases loaded?

Oh, my.

It was that kind of day for the Braves' Jair Jurrjens and Jo-Jo Reyes, who got rocked in a 10-run fourth inning that sent the San Diego Padres to a startling 17-2 win in Monday's series opener at  Petco Park.

"Today was just a bad day; I was horrible," said Jurrjens, charged with eight runs and eight hits in 3-1/3 innings, the worst start of his young career. "Everything I threw up there was like a ‘hit-me' ball, I guess – it was big, and everything was up. They're professional hitters, a professional team, and they're going to make me pay if I keep making mistakes like that."

Said manager Bobby Cox, "That's the worst game I've ever seen him pitch."

Reyes was even worse statistically, allowing nine runs, 10 hits and three walks in 3-1/3 innings in his first game of the season.

It was Jurrjens, however, who issued a four-pitch walk to Gwynn that seemed to sound alarms and lead to total disaster in the fourth inning.

"He was off his mark and didn't have control of his change-up," said Cox, whose Braves (3-4) have lost four of five to fall three games behind National League East leader Philadelphia already. "He couldn't get ahead of the hitters, for whatever reason, I don't know. And it just got worse from there. No rhyme or reason for it, but it happened."

For the Braves, the good news was Jurrjens wasn't hurt and third baseman Chipper Jones didn't reinjure anything after missing three games with a strained oblique and back spasms.

Jones left in the sixth inning only because the Braves were being pummeled and Cox saw no sense keeping in him or catcher Brian McCann.

The Padres, playing before a sellout crowd of 42,843 in their home opener, broke a ballpark scoring record held by the Braves, who put up 15 runs against them in a July 2006 game.

Reyes was the only Braves pitcher on the opening-day roster not used before Monday, when he, too, had the worst performance of his spotty major league career.

"He just got a lot of balls in the hitting zone, walks, 3-2 counts," Cox said. "You just can't get away with it up here…. He pitched great all spring. This is his first outing of the season, we'll give him that. He hasn't pitched since the White Sox exhibition [game]."

Five runs scored in the fourth before Reyes replaced Jurrjens with two runners on. Both runners scored on a double by Kyle Blanks, the first batter Reyes faced. Blanks added a three-run homer in the fifth.

Jurrjens faced eight batters in the fourth and allowed four hits and two walks, including an almost incomprehensible four-pitch walk by No. 8 hitter Gwynn, who came in hitting .143 with no RBIs.

"I thought his velocity was down," said Jones, who never saw Jurrjens so off on his game. "He's usually 91-92 [mph]; he was around 87-88. Didn't have his location, change-up was getting up. Just one of those days. We all have bad days and today was J.J.'s. They came out, swung the bats good. [Padres starter Kevin] Correia was on the corners all afternoon."

The Padres led 1-0 before the 10-run fourth, when they got things rolling with a Chase Hundley double, Will Venable  single and Mike Hundley walk. Four pitches later, Jurrjens had walked Gwynn, and Correia followed with a two-run bloop single.

"I just didn't have anything," Jurrjens said of the Gwynn walk. "Didn't have control of my fastball or my breaking ball. If I cannot get my fastball over the plate for a strike, it's going to be difficult for me to pitch. They proved it today."

Was he concerned about the performance? He said no.

"I just need to go back and watch some tapes, get back to the old me, just stay back and throw strikes," Jurrjens said. "I think I’m jumping a little, rushing, not staying back. That's making my pitches stay up."

Regarding the velocity, he said, "It seemed a little bit low. I don't know if it's from the cold. My arm feels fine. I don't think velocity was the main concern. Just being wild in the strike zone…. I want to have my old stuff, just trust it and don't think about who's hitting."