Padres blanked as long ball plagues Marquis

Padres blanked as long ball plagues Marquis

Padres blanked as long ball plagues Marquis
ATLANTA -- Go ahead and add Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin to the list of those who don't think that this should be Chipper Jones' final season in baseball.

"I hope he does come back and play for another year," said Maybin, who used to make the drive with his family from Asheville, N.C., to watch Jones and the Braves when he was younger.

"It looks to me as if he's still got a lot more left in the tank."

That was evident on Thursday as Jones took some of the shine off teammate Kris Medlen's shutout with two home runs and a dazzling diving stop to smother a ground ball at third base as the Braves rolled past the Padres, 6-0, before a crowd of 33,157 at Turner Field.

On a night the first 20,000 fans received Chipper Jones' bobblehead dolls, Jones gave them a lot to cheer about early when he went down and essentially golfed a slider from San Diego starter Jason Marquis into the right-field seats for a two-run home run in the first inning.

"The two at-bats where I hit the homers, he fell in love with a certain pitch during the course of the at-bat and just stuck with it," said Jones, who saw a steady diet of sliders in the first inning and then saw nothing but sinkers in his fifth-inning at-bat, in which he also homered.

"The two at-bats where I hit the homers, he fell in love with a certain pitch during the course of the at-bat and just stuck with it. Eventually a good hitter is going to take advantage of that," said Jones, who has announced that he will retire after the season.

Then in the second inning, with no outs and Yonder Alonso on first base after a single, Jones was able to smother a hard-hit ground ball by Will Venable. He then had the wherewithal to climb to his knees just in time to get Alonso at second base on a force play.

Finally, in the fifth inning, he followed teammate Jason Heyward's long home run to right field with a home run of his own to highlight a four-run inning that put the game out of reach for the Braves, who took the final three games of this four-game series from the Padres.

"He's swinging a hot bat. He must be seeing the ball very well," said Marquis, five days removed from a shutout against the Pirates. "He's been living off pitchers' mistakes for years."

As for Medlen, he was essentially reduced to a footnote even though he allowed five hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Dating back to May 2010, the Braves have won the last 15 games he has started.

"He had three pitches he threw for strikes, he was changing speeds and threw his secondary pitches when he was behind in the count," manager Bud Black said.

The Padres started the game with Logan Forsythe lining out to Medlen. Everth Cabrera then grounded out to shortstop but hit the ball hard. Chase Headley then singled to left field. But Medlen got Carlos Quentin on a popup to the catcher to end the inning.

Medlen allowed leadoff hits over the next two innings, but the Padres failed to score.

"We had some hard contact early in the game right at them but couldn't get anything going after that," Black said.

The Padres scored one run over the final 29 innings of the series, and that came on just one swing on Wednesday, when Forsythe connected for a home run.

"They pitched well ... that happens," Black said. "I still think we're swinging the bats OK as evidenced by our hard outs the last few days."

As for Marquis, he couldn't replicate the success he had against the Pirates last week. He allowed the consecutive home runs to Heyward and Jones in the fifth inning and rookie reliever Brad Boxberger followed by allowing two inherited runners to score on a single by Paul Janish.

All told, Marquis allowed six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings with four walks and four strikeouts.

But the story on Thursday was Jones, who took two curtain calls and excited the crowd what just about everything he did.

"Even some of his outs in this series were hard hit," Black said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.