"I want to score every time when I hit a triple," Cabrera said.
It seemed inevitable that Cabrera would get his wish and tie the game, but the no-out triple turned into nothing, as Braves pitcher Javier Vazquez retired the next three Padres batters.
The Padres were held scoreless for the rest of the game while the Braves posted six more runs en route to a 9-2 win over San Diego to even the three-game series at PETCO Park.
"Those are the things that change momentum ... that change the game," said Padres center fielder Tony Gwynn. "They get that stop there and momentum changes over to their favor. Not only is it a boost of confidence for the pitcher, but it gets the team going in the right direction.
"That's why it's important for us to capitalize on those chances. I wasn't able to get my job done."
After Cabrera's triple, pinch-hitter Luis Rodriguez lined out to Vazquez. Gwynn then popped out to third baseman Chipper Jones in foul territory on a slider, which came on the first pitch.
"I came up there with one out and got a good pitch to do something with and didn't do what I was supposed to do with it," Gwynn said. "I didn't even put it in a position where [Cabrera] could score.
"Maybe I tried to clear too soon and ended up pulling off and slowing the bat down. You get a fly ball like that in the infield, which does us zero good."
Second baseman David Eckstein grounded out to end the inning, leaving Cabrera stranded.
"We just didn't get it done, bottom line," said Padres manager Bud Black. "You don't know how the rest of the game is going to play out, obviously, but those situations, I think teams have to take advantage of. And we didn't."
Padres starting pitcher Tim Stauffer tossed five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Atlanta batters had 17 hits in the game, tying their season-high set on July 24 at Milwaukee.
"We had a lot of hard-hit balls tonight, a bunch," said Braves manager Bobby Cox.
The Braves did their greatest damage at the expense of Padres reliever Edward Mujica, who tossed just one-third of an inning.
Mujica allowed four runs on five hits, both season highs, in the sixth. Braves right fielder Matt Diaz hit a two-run homer to right field that gave Atlanta a three-run lead.
Second baseman Martin Prado then hit a two-run single to extend the lead to 7-2 in the sixth inning.
The Braves added two more runs on a disputed call in the eighth inning. Braves left fielder Garret Anderson hit a line drive to left fielder Chase Headley, who appeared to make a clean diving catch. Third base umpire Bill Welke ruled that the ball hit the ground, resulting in two RBIs.
"I got up and was about to come in, and I heard him yell that it bounced, so I threw it in," Headley said. "It was a close play. Looking at the replay, it looked like I caught it. Judging by the replay, I'm 99.9 percent sure."
Vazquez (9-7) tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out six and walked two.
Right fielder Will Venable hit a solo homer to left-center field to put San Diego on the board in the first inning. It was Venable's fourth home run in the past six games.
Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez did not play Tuesday, ending his Major League-leading streak of 314 consecutive game appearances. Gonzalez said he needed rest to alleviate "heavy legs" and will return to the lineup Wednesday.
Amy Brittain is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.