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Braves can't recover after Teheran exits early

Special to MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- The Braves were hit hard in falling to the Padres, 11-4, on Monday night at Petco Park.

Atlanta pitchers gave up four home runs as the team kicked off a six-game road trip by absorbing numerous haymakers from San Diego's muscular offense.

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SAN DIEGO -- The Braves were hit hard in falling to the Padres, 11-4, on Monday night at Petco Park.

Atlanta pitchers gave up four home runs as the team kicked off a six-game road trip by absorbing numerous haymakers from San Diego's muscular offense.

View Full Game Coverage

Julio Teheran (4-4) was rocked for three solo home runs in four innings as the Braves ran into a team hotter than them. Fresh from taking two of three from the Nationals, Atlanta saw San Diego win for the sixth time in seven games.

Teheran lost his third straight start; the Braves have dropped 15 of their last 17 meetings with the Padres.

Something was bothering Teheran, and it was revealed through his performance (78 pitches, 40 strikes) and two visits to the mound from trainer George Poulis.

"I jammed my thumb," said Teheran, who earlier in the game was seen shaking his foot to get it loose. "It happened in the last at-bat, when [Padres starter Clayton Richard] threw me inside and it hurt. I thought I was going to be able to throw the ball, but I couldn't."

The right-hander didn't last the second examination, as he was pulled after four-plus innings. He was charged with four runs, five hits and three walks, with two strikeouts, in his shortest stint since going three innings against the Phillies on April 27.

"I don't know if it was [the thumb] or just one of those nights that he didn't have it," manager Brian Snitker said.

But it was reliever Luiz Gohara who really struggled. After he replaced Teheran, a close game became a rout, as the Padres built a 10-2 cushion by the end of the fifth. Gohara's line: two outs, six runs, six hits and a walk.

"Just rusty as all get out," said Snitker of Gohara, who missed 10 games while on the bereavement list. "He just hasn't faced competition in a while, so it's just going to take a while to get him back going."

Teheran has been out of sorts his last five starts, charged with eight home runs and 15 walks over 28 innings. His velocity was down on Monday, stuck in the mid- to upper 80s.

"His velocity wasn't great the last time out either, but he always finds a way," Snitker said. "But the thumb is what drove him out of the game."

An X-ray taken of Teheran's the thumb was negative; he is hopeful that it won't hamper his next start.

The Padres collected their third homer in the fourth, with Raffy Lopez's third of the year pushing the Padres back ahead, 3-2.

The Braves climbed back into the game in the fourth, tying it at 2. Nick Markakis and Tyler Flowers produced consecutive singles, and then Charlie Culberson, who provided Sunday's walk-off homer, hit a grounder down first-base line, just beyond the outstretched glove of Eric Hosmer, for a two-run double.

Video: ATL@SD: Culberson smacks a 2-run double to right

The Padres flexed early, with Hosmer going deep in the second and Cory Spangenberg hitting a long fly in the fourth, giving San Diego a 2-0 advantage.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Despite falling behind early, the Braves kept it close thanks to a big pitch Teheran made in a big situation. The Padres already had a run across in the second when they loaded the bases on a single and consecutive walks. On the heels of those bases on balls, Teheran's first two pitches to Jose Pirela missed the zone. But Teheran enticed Pirela with a hittable fastball that he sent harmlessly in the air toward center to end the rally.

SOUND SMART
Those thinking the Braves' hot start is a fluke might consider they have played 43 games against a team with a winning record. That's the most in the Majors among any squad not in last place.

UP NEXT
Lefty Sean Newcomb gets the nod for the middle contest of this three-game series as he faces righty Jordan Lyles on Tuesday, with first pitch at 10:10 p.m. ET. Newcomb blanked the Padres last year at Petco Park in his lone outing against them, scattering six hits over six innings.

Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego.

Atlanta Braves