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Braves lose 4-3, drop sixth straight

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Things somehow keep getting worse

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

On the tv show The Wire, Steve Earle's character describes how a drug addict cannot begin to recover until he hits his bottom. The big problem as Earle describes it, is for many addicts the bottom keeps dropping further and further beyond where they thought it could drop. That is what watching the Braves feels like right now. A team that seems to hit rock bottom but then nope, the bottom drops even further. On Sunday afternoon the Braves lost their sixth straight game 4-3 to the Padres in ten innings, finding brand new ways to frustrate Braves fans.

The game started off poorly with Aaron Harang doing his usual getting in trouble constantly but limiting the damage routine. Harang allowed two baserunners in the 1st inning but no runs. Harang wasn't so lucky in the second inning as a single by Will Venable lead off the inning. Venable reached second on a ground out and came around to score on a single by Padres pitcher Tyson Ross. The Padres were up 1-0 because Harang allowed a hit to the Padres pitcher.

The Padres doubled their lead in the bottom of the 4th inning. Venable reached base on a walk and reached third base on a single to right field by Alexi Amarista. Amarista reached second on Heyward's throw that was cut off by Ramiro Pena. Pena actually threw back to second and Amarista was initially called out but on review the call was changed to safe. Everth Cabrera would knock in the Padres second run of a sac fly and it was 2-0 after four.

Harang managed to go six innings in typical Harang fashion. Harang walked four batters, only struck out three, and allowed five hits but that only resulted in two runs. Harang wasn't sharp and was frustrating but he gave the Braves a chance to win.

The Braves finally looked to make the game competitive in the top of the 7th. Justin Upton lead off the inning with a walk and scored on a Jason Heyward triple. Evan Gattis then doubled to tie the game at two but after the double things got ridiculous for Atlanta. Chris Johnson smacked a double off the wall but Gattis Lonnie Smith'd himself and only reached third base. Gattis misread the ball completely and cut back to second as if it were going to be caught. However, the Braves were still in business with runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs.

Ramiro Pena walked to load the bases and it seemed almost impossible that the Braves wouldn't take the lead. Emilio Bonifacio was rung up looking at a ball off the plate for the first out. BJ Upton then came up because he is the team's leadoff hitter and grounded into an inning-ending double play. The Braves scored two runs to tie the game but blew a major opportunity to take the lead.

The Padres took the lead back in the bottom of the 8th inning when Superstar Tommy Medica homered off Anthony Varvaro to give the Padres a 3-2 lead. Medica is 13-27 against the Braves this year and has been inexplicably dominant against the team with the tomahawk across their chest.

The Braves offense rose to the occasion in the top of the ninth to tie the game thanks to some poor defense by the Padres. Jason Heyward continued his good run with a double to lead off the inning. Gattis hit a weak grounder to the pitcher who foolishly tried to get Heyward at third. The throw was late anyway but it got past the third baseman and Heyward was able to score to tie the game at 3-3.

The Padres somehow wasted a prime opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the 9th inning. A Yonder Alonso single and two walks issued by Juan Jaime loaded the bases with two outs. At one point Jaime threw 11 consecutive balls, including four straight to a batter trying to sac bunt. The 11 balls were aided by a poor strike zone by the umpire who suddenly seemed eager to go home. With the bases loaded Jaime got behind 3-0 to Jedd Gyorko and one more ball would have ended the game. Jaime managed to battle back with two strikes and then got Gyorko to ground out to end the inning.

The Braves did nothing in their top of the 10th and the Padres mercifully ended the game in the bottom of the inning. Venable and Amarista reached via a single and walk respectively. Rene Rivera tried to bunt the runners over but popped the ball up. David Hale just missed catching the ball but it worked out because he was able to throw to third for one out and Johnson threw back to first for the second out as Rivera wasn't running until he saw the ball drop. Hale had a chance to escape the inning but a Cabrera single brought Amarista home to give the Padres the 4-3 win. The Braves have lost six straight and are five games behind the Nationals in the loss column.