Posted: Friday, July 25th 2014 at 11:11pm
Wood gives up 12 hits, Braves fall to Padres, 5-2
By The Associated Press
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Alex Wood delivers to the San Diego Padres during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 25, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
ATLANTA -- Alex Wood's shoulders slumped as he turned to watch Tommy Medica's grounder skip into center field to open the fifth inning.
It was that kind of night for Atlanta's left-hander: A lot of ground balls. A lot of hits.
Wood (7-8) gave up a career-high 12 hits, and the Braves lost ground in the NL East with their 5-2 loss to rookie Jesse Hahn and the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
The Braves fell 2 1-2 games behind first-place Washington.
Wood allowed five runs, four earned, in five innings. Of his 12 hits allowed, three were infield singles. Other hits found holes through the infield defense.
"I think it was a combination of things," Wood said of his ugly statistical line. "Obviously, there a lot of ground balls that got through.
"I don't think I adjusted quickly enough and changed my game plan we had going in. That's part of the reason some of those ground balls got through."
San Diego had only one extra-base hit, a double by Carlos Quentin to lead off the third.
"I've never seen so many ground balls go through the infield," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "(Wood) kept getting ground balls, and they just kept getting through the infield."
The Braves couldn't rattle Hahn in his first visit to Turner Field.
Hahn (6-2) allowed only three hits and one run in six innings to remain unbeaten in four road starts.
"It tells me a little bit about the heartbeat," Padres manager Bud Black said of Hahn. "This guy is pretty calm for a young player. He's got some confidence in his game, which we came to know in spring training. I like the fact again he's got a pretty even keel about his personality during the course of the game."
The Padres continued their recent offensive recovery with 13 hits to beat Wood. They have had 27 hits in their last two games, their best two-game total of the season, and have scored 26 runs in their last three games.
The Padres still rank last in the majors with their .218 batting average and 317 runs.
Tommy Medica drove in a run and had a career-high four hits. Chris Denorfia had three hits and an RBI for San Diego.
"They didn't try to hit it out of the park," Wood said of the Padres' hitters. "They just took their singles, and it worked."
The Padres, who were 5-1 against the Braves in 2013, have won five of their last six series against Atlanta since early 2011.
The Braves scored one run in the eighth but left the bases loaded. Kevin Quackenbush gave up a two-out single to Freddie Freeman before walking Justin Upton.
Joaquin Benoit walked two batters, including a bases-loaded pass to Evan Gattis, to force in a run. Chris Johnson's fly ball to shallow center field ended the inning.
Benoit had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth to earn his second save.
San Diego led 5-0 before Freeman hit a one-out triple off the wall in center field and scored on Upton's sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Black unsuccessfully challenged a call that Medica was forced out at second base in the fifth. Braves third baseman Chris Johnson bobbled Jeff Francoeur's grounder before throwing to Tommy La Stella at second. The call stood following a review that lasted 3 minutes, 1 second.
Francoeur, who played with his hometown Braves from 2005-09, received an ovation before his first at-bat. He was 0 for 3 with a walk.
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