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Medica flirts with cycle as Padres drop finale

Rookie finishes a single shy; Stauffer exits during 8-run first frame

PHOENIX -- Just five days ago, pitcher Tim Stauffer gave the Padres much more than they ever expected.

On Wednesday night, he didn't give them nearly enough. Stauffer and the Padres were buried early as the D-backs scored eight runs in the first inning on their way to a 12-6 victory in front of a crowd of 22,233 at Chase Field.

Stauffer, who on Friday gave the team 77 pitches and five shutout innings filling in for injured pitcher Robbie Erlin, allowed the first five hitters to each base in this one. It would only get worse from there.

All told, Stauffer (2-1) got just one out in the first inning, allowing seven earned runs on six hits and one walk. He threw just 37 pitches, 26 for strikes.

"It's unfortunate, I put us in that position and didn't give us a chance out of the get-go," Stauffer said.

About the only thing that didn't go right for the D-backs during that first inning was when manager Kirk Gibson challenged Gerardo Parra's line drive down the left-field line that was ruled foul. The umpires consulted the replay system and the call was ruled to stand. Parra singled anyway.

It was the shortest outing by a San Diego starting pitcher -- who was not injured -- since Brian Tollberg against the Indians on June 10, 2003, when he allowed six runs (three earned) while also getting one out.

"They say hitting's contagious," D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock said. "It didn't matter what it was. We were just hot."

But don't take away the impression that the D-backs were hammering pitches all around Chase Field in that inning.

Stauffer allowed two singles to Pollock and Parra to start the game. He then appeared to execute a good pitch down and away to Paul Goldschmidt, who nearly dug the ball out of the dirt and flipped it into left field fora double and a 1-0 lead.

After walking Miguel Montero, Martin Prado hit a soft liner into right field for a run. Stauffer struck out Aaron Hill, but he allowed an RBI single to Chris Owings and a two-run single to No. 8 hitter Ender Inciarte. That would be the last batter Stauffer faced.

"Baseball is, at times, a very cruel game," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Pollock hit a bounding ball in the right spot. Parra hit a bounding ball in the right spot. Goldschmidt hit a blooper down the right-field line.

"We were behind the eight-ball right away."

Owings finished with four hits while Pollock and Goldschmidt each had three.

Not all of the hits Stauffer allowed were smoked but, alas, they were all hits just the same.

"Unfortunately, it was one of those days. I felt early on, I made some pitches and then left some out over the plate," Stauffer said. "There were three or four [hits] that, looking back at the video, were where I wanted to put them."

The Padres got a lot of mileage out of long reliever Donn Roach, who allowed three runs on six hits in four innings, giving the team some much-needed length out of the bullpen after the short start.

"Donn did his part as far as innings," Black said. "We needed the innings."

The D-backs tacked-on two more runs in the second inning off Roach, as Martin Prado -- who entered the series with no home runs -- hit his second in three days, a two-run shot to make it 10-0.

The Padres, who are off on Thursday, open a three-game series in Chicago on Friday against the White Sox and might have a fresh arm from the Minor Leagues waiting for them when they get there.

"We're talking about that right now," Black said.

Buried early, the Padres picked away at the lead and rookie starting pitcher Chase Anderson (3-0), who certainly couldn't have asked for more in the way of run support.

Jedd Gyorko had a run-scoring groundout in the fourth inning. Yonder Alonso knocked in a run with a single one inning later and rookie Tommy Medica, who continues to swing a hot bat since being promoted from Triple-A on Sunday, had a double, triple and home run and reached on an error.

Medica missed hitting for the first cycle in club history by a single, as he flew out to center field in his final at-bat in the ninth inning.

Medica had a two-run double in the fifth inning and an opposite-field home run in the eighth inning. He had three hits in a 4-3 victory on Tuesday, including a go-ahead home run and now has eight hits in 12 at-bats overall since rejoining the team.

"Tommy is running hot, he's hitting the ball hard," Black said. "Those aren't cheapies."

Medica, who made the Opening Day roster before being optioned to Triple-A on April 25, has remerged a more confident hitter this time around.

"I'm a little more relaxed at the plate. Before, I was trying to do more than I could do," he said.

As for missing out on the first cycle in franchise history -- dating to 1969 -- Medica wasn't' sweating it.

"I saw I might have a chance, but it's not like you're looking ahead to it," Medica said. "But it would have been cool."

After scoring early, the D-backs wouldn't score again until the seventh inning when Goldschmidt drilled a two-run home run off the huge video board in straight away center field off new reliever Troy Patton, who was obtained on Saturday from the Orioles for catcher Nick Hundley.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter.
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