Winning five out of six games last week turned the season around a bit for the Cincinnati Reds. However, the season regressed to the mean this week as the ball club finished off their west coast road trip.
The pitching staff was dominated on the bookends of the series as the San Diego Padres won two out of three games. Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Juan Soto proved too much for the Reds in game one while Soto remained hot all series going a combined 5-10 at the plate with five RBI. Another come-from-behind win on Tuesday night avoided the sweep for the Redlegs.
After the six-game, six-day west coast stint, the Reds will return to Great American Ball Park after taking Thursday off. With a 13-18 record, Cincinnati will welcome the 10-21 Chicago White Sox to town on Friday. Hunter Greene will take the mound at 6:40 p.m. EST on Friday evening to begin the series. Nick Lodolo and Luke Weaver are also scheduled to start this weekend.
Padres Offense Dominates Reds Pitching in Series Opener
There aren’t many, if any, lineups in Major League Baseball with a tougher top-of-the-batting order than San Diego. Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Juan Soto bat 1-2-3 for the Padres and certainly made their presence felt on Monday night. The talented trio combined to go 6-13 at the plate with four RBI and two runs scored. However, they weren’t the only Padres that found success off the Cincinnati Reds’ pitching staff.
In total, the Reds allowed 16 hits on the evening as the Padres would cruise to an 8-3 win. Soto got the scoring started with a two-run double in the bottom of the first, but Cincinnati actually answered the first punch thrown. Stuart Fairchild had a two-run double of his own in the third and Nick Senzel homered in the fourth to briefly take a 3-2 lead. However, it was all San Diego from that point on. The game was tied in the bottom half of the third. Then, Ha-Seong Kim blew the game open with a three-run home run in the fifth that made it 6-3. Manny Machado eventually set the final score of 8-3 with a two-RBI single in the eighth inning.
Another Come-From-Behind Victory Evens Up the Series
In game two on Tuesday, the cardiac Cincinnati Reds continued to show late-inning fight. Juan Soto doubled in the third inning scoring Manny Machado to make it 1-0. That is the only scoring either team would manage until the eighth. Graham Ashcraft was locked into a pitcher’s duel with Michael Wacha. Ashcraft allowed just the one run on six hits in six innings of work. Another excellent performance on the mound lowered his season ERA to 2.00. Meanwhile, the veteran Wacha also went six innings allowing just two hits and no runs.
Once the ball was handed off to the bullpen, the Reds won the battle. Jake Fraley got Cincy on the board with a game-tying RBI single in the eighth. Then, after forcing extra innings, Jonathan India drove in the go-ahead run with a single to left field. Alexis Diaz then struck out two batters and left a pair of runners stranded to slam the door shut in the bottom of the 10th inning for a 2-1 Reds win. The Cincinnati bullpen did not allow a hit and struck out five in four innings of work.
Reds Blown Out in Series Rubber Match
Luis Cessa as a starting pitcher has not worked out. The former relief pitcher is now 1-4 on the season with an ugly 9.36 earned run average. In Wednesday’s rubber match, he lasted just three and one-third innings allowing three runs on four hits while walking three batters. Unfortunately for the Reds, the bullpen wasn’t much better. Alex Young gave up a two-run home run after taking over for Cessa in the fourth. Then, Reiver Sanmartin was hit for two runs and Casey Legumina took one earned run after allowing a bases-clearing double to Juan Soto in the bottom of the sixth that made it 7-1 Padres.
That 7-1 score would hold through the rest of the game as San Diego held on to win the series two games to one. The lone run for the Reds came in the top of the sixth via a solo home run by Spencer Steer. Cincinnati is now 13-18 on the season while the Padres improved to 17-15.