SAN DIEGO – The Braves lost their fifth consecutive game Monday night, not overly surprising considering the way things have gone this season and the fact that they were playing in San Diego, where they haven’t won since late-August 2012.
Before leaving the game with triceps soreness, Williams Perez gave up a two-out, tie-breaking three-run homer to Yangervis Solarte in the third inning and the Padres cruised to a 7-2 win that was their 11th in a row against the Braves at Petco Park.
Perez (2-2) exited after 4 1/3 innings and was charged with seven hits, six runs and no walks with two strikeouts. The Braves will wait until at least Tuesday to see how he feels before deciding whether to put him on the 15-day disabled list.
Since the Braves’ last win at San Diego, on Aug. 28, 2012, the St. Louis Cardinals have won 334 games, the San Francisco Giants have won two World Series and the Kansas City Royals have won two American League pennants and a World Series.
Since the Braves’ last won in San Diego, Clayton Kershaw has posted 63 wins, 927 strikeouts and two Cy Young Awards, Chris Davis has hit 147 home runs and Mike Trout has 274 extra-base hits.
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What we’re saying is, it’s been a long time.
“I remember when I was here a few years ago (as Braves third-base coach), we had a hard time in this ballpark it seemed like,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said, “and we had good teams, that were doing good and fighting for the division and everything. We’d come in here and it was a tough place for us to play, for some reason.”
But Snitker said he didn’t think about that coming into this series, and the only current Braves on the team for a significant part of the streak were Freddie Freeman and Julio Teheran.
The Braves’ 14 consecutive losses at Nationals Park is the majors’ longest active losing streak for any team at any ballpark, and their 11-game skid at Petco is tied for second-longest with the Padres’ 11-game skid at San Francisco.
Not even Perez, who’s given the hapless Braves (16-41) their best chance to win this season, could end the skid(s). Before Monday, the Braves since April 15 were 6-1 in games started by Perez and 10-30 in games started by anyone else.
For the second consecutive game, the Braves scored in the first inning and their starter gave up the lead in the bottom of the inning. On Sunday it was Matt Wisler, staked to a 2-0 lead, who gave up two runs in the first inning, another run in the second inning and four in the third.
Against the Padres, Perez was given a 1-0 lead before he took the mound for the first time. He gave it back in a span of three batters to start the Padres’ first inning, then the homer to Solarte in the third, the last of three consecutive two-out hits off Perez that inning.
“The three-run homer I think just wasn’t a real good pitch,” Snitker said. “Didn’t break well, didn’t have a lot of teeth in it, just kind of stayed right there for him to hit.”
Solarte homered on an 0-1 curveball, after taking a first-pitch fastball for a strike.
“It was a good pitch, I think he just put a good swing on it,” Perez said through a translator. “I think he might have been waiting on it or sitting on it. The previous at-bat I’d gotten him on a 1-1 count on a change-up, so my first pitch I threw him a fastball, and I think after that he was waiting off-speed, so I think he just jumped on it.”
In the past two games, Braves starters pitched a total of 8 1/3 innings and gave up 16 hits, 14 runs (all earned) and four home runs.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after slumping Ender Inciarte’s leadoff walk, a Chase d’Arnaud single – he had three hits — and Jeff Francoeur’s RBI ground-out, after Freeman struck out with runners on the corners for the first out. Freeman was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, including two strikeouts with runners in scoring position.
Perez gave the lead back in the bottom of the inning on a John Jay leadoff double and Matt Kemp’s one-out sacrifice fly.