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Padres have fallen back after hot streak

The Sports Xchange
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Bud Black has stressed the importance of a strong finish by the Padres. The 37-25 run at the end of the 2009 season carried over into a 90-win year in 2010.

"We've played solid baseball in the second half," the Padres manager said before Thursday's game against the Dodgers at Petco Park. "It's always good to end the season on a high note."

Just the opposite might be happening, however.

The Padres finished with two straight losses to the Dodgers at Petco Park and have lost six of their last nine games. Thursday night's 8-4 defeat in a three-hour, 40-minute marathon came on the heels of an 8-2 rout -- resulting in a third straight 2-1 series loss to National League West rivals Arizona, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

After pulling to within five games of .500 at 71-76 after a 19-6 run, the Padres have slipped to eight games below .500.

The 3-6 run comes on the heels of a 19-6 romp over the previous 25 games. And the Padres were 24-8 at home since the All-Star break before the back-to-back losses to the Dodgers.

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