SAN DIEGO (AP) - After winning four straight and 11 of 16, the Atlanta Braves were a bit shocked by an 11-2 loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
``We haven't had very many of these games in our young season to date,' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``So, forget about it, and come back tomorrow and start a four- or five-game winning streak.'
San Diego's Tim Stauffer had a career-high nine strikeouts over seven effective innings and got some rare run support from one of the majors' weakest lineups.
It was the most runs scored at home this season by the Padres, who have struggled at their spacious downtown ballpark. Jesus Guzman hit his first big league homer when he batted for Stauffer in the six-run seventh, a 395-foot, two-run shot off the facade of the second deck in left field.
It was the third straight win for San Diego, which finally scored some runs for Stauffer (3-5). He came in getting the worst run support in the majors, an average of 2.15 runs when he's in a game. The Padres were shut out his previous two starts.
Stauffer, Pat Neshek and Josh Spence combined on a four-hitter. Spence, a 23-year-old Australian left-hander, made his big league debut with a perfect ninth.
In Stauffer's previous seven starts, the Padres scored only seven runs while he was in the game. Stauffer allowed two runs and four hits, with no walks.
The Padres came in tied with San Francisco for the fewest runs in the majors, 257. It was just the third time in 77 games they scored in double digits.
Derek Lowe (3-6) allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings and is winless in his last nine starts. The Braves' winning streak ended with just their seventh loss in 22 games at Petco Park since 2005.
``It seems like one mistake or two, and the game gets out of hand,' Lowe said. ``Three wins in 17 starts is probably not what I had in mind coming out of spring training.'
Ryan Ludwick missed a homer by inches in the seventh, settling for an RBI double. Cameron Maybin hit a two-run triple and scored on a two-out throwing error by second baseman Dan Uggla. That kept the inning alive for Guzman, who connected against Cairo Asencio.
Stauffer's only mistake came when he allowed Freddie Freeman's two-run homer to straightaway center field with two outs in the seventh. Freeman hit a full-count pitch for his eighth homer. Jason Heyward was aboard on a leadoff single.
Stauffer retired 16 straight before Heyward's hit.
The Padres scored three runs on four hits and a walk in the sixth, all with two outs. Alberto Gonzalez hit a two-run single to right and Stauffer followed with a single to center to give the Padres a 5-0 lead.
NOTES: Stauffer's nine Ks were the most by any Padres pitcher this season. His previous strikeout high was eight in a 4-2 win against the Colorado Rockies on June 7. ... Guzman had San Diego's first pinch homer of the season. ... The 11 runs were the most given up by the Braves this season. ... Lowe's last win was May 6 at Philadelphia.
The Associated Press News Service
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