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Lefty Minor struggles again in Braves' 10-1 loss to Padres

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SAN DIEGO - Mike Minor has had poor outings in three of his last four starts for the Atlanta Braves, meaning there's a good chance manager Fredi Gonzalez could pull him from the rotation.

The latest came Friday night, when the lefty allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings, including both of rookie Tommy Medica's two-run home runs, in a 10-1 loss to the San Diego Padres.

"It's a business, I understand that," said Minor (4-7), who has allowed six runs in three of his last four starts. "We're in a pennant race and winding down the last third of the season. We can't be giving away games with me pitching like that."

Medica had a career-high five hits, and left-hander Eric Stults and three relievers combined on a four-hitter.

The Braves lost their fourth straight game.

"There are a lot of things we have to sort through," Gonzalez said when asked if Minor will stay in the rotation. "We have a couple of days coming up next week. But I've had other stuff on my mind right now."

Minor "didn't get to his curveball until late. He was throwing fastball, cutter, change and they were all coming back over the middle of the plate," Gonzalez said.

Minor beat the Padres 8-3 in Atlanta on Sunday.

"It's going to be week to week, I guess," he said. "I can't really get a rhythm. Thought I had a pretty good game last week and then face the same Padres team and they had 20-some hits. I think they were pretty locked in."

Medica's previous career high was four hits a week earlier at Atlanta. This was his first four-RBI game and he scored a career-high four runs. He made his big league debut in September and is in his third stint with the Padres this season.

Everth Cabrera had four hits for the Padres, who had a season-high 20.

Medica's second shot, on a 1-0 pitch with one out in the third, went an estimated 438 feet into the second deck in left field and gave San Diego a 5-0 lead. His first homer, also to left, was on a 1-1 pitch with two outs in the first. He has six this season. Medica singled in the fifth.

Medica's first big league hit was a homer off Cliff Lee in the second at-bat of his debut on Sept. 10.

Stults (4-13) won for just the second time in his last 11 starts. He didn't allow a hit until the fourth, when a two-base error by right fielder Jeff Francoeur on B.J. Upton's fly ball to the warning track led to an unearned run. Chris Johnson hit an RBI single with two outs.

Cabrera scored twice and drove in a run. He was aboard for Medica's first homer. Jedd Gyorko, who continues to hit well after his return from a 44-game stay on the disabled list, was aboard for Medica's second shot after hitting an RBI double in the third inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: Outfielder Jason Heyward missed his fourth straight game with back stiffness. He left Monday's game against San Diego. He originally was hurt while chasing a foul ball on July 24.

Padres: Catcher Yasmani Grandal missed his second straight game with fluid in his right knee, which was surgically repaired last summer.

ON DECK

Braves: Right-hander Ervin Santana (10-6, 3.63) tries to beat Padres in consecutive starts. He pitched five-hit ball for eight innings in Monday's 2-0 win in Atlanta.

Padres: Right-hander Ian Kennedy (8-9, 3.66) returns after missing his start Monday at Atlanta because of a left oblique strain.

HEADS UP PLAY

Medica singled in the fifth and advanced on Rene Rivera's grounder to third. With the Braves not paying any attention to him, Medica stole third.

"I just kind of saw the shortstop and third baseman. They turned around and Minor was still kind of looking at the plate," Medica said. "I just started walking and noticed no one was still seeing me and I took off. With a lefty on the mound I knew it would be tough to turn all the way around and throw me out."

HALE'S ANTICS

Braves reliever David Hale angrily waved off trainer Jeff Porter after he was hit by a batted ball.

"Jeff was going to go out and check on him," Gonzalez said. "That bothered me. I know it's competitive, frustration at getting hurt, anger, whatever word you want to use. But that's not the right actions. He's a guy who wants to help him. When guys get hurt, he's the first guy they call. I'm sure Jeff and David talked. It's over with."

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