After breaking out of a brief slump, the Cincinnati Reds could have trouble coming up with a repeat performance.
The San Diego Padres ' offense could also be in for a difficult time.
In what could be a somewhat unlikely Saturday night pitchers' duel, the Reds' Homer Bailey looks to remain unbeaten against a Padres team that counters with Clayton Richard , one of baseball's hottest pitchers in recent weeks.
Cincinnati (45-38) scored more than one run for the first time in four games and ended a three-game skid with Friday's 6-0 victory at Petco Park. Zack Cozart , Todd Frazier and Ryan Hanigan all homered for the Reds, who had gone deep twice in their previous six games."You just keep swinging and good things happen and it did happen," manager Dusty Baker said. "You can't keep a good team down forever."
While the bats came to life for Cincinnati, which remained one game behind NL Central-leading Pittsburgh, Bronson Arroyo shut down San Diego's offense by tossing a three-hitter. The Padres (34-51) had only one runner reach second base as their season-high six-game winning streak - which included a 2-1 victory in Thursday's series opener - came to an end.
San Diego's task may not be any easier against Bailey (6-6, 4.24), who gave up two runs and five hits while striking out seven over eight innings of Monday's 8-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers .
Bailey has been at his best on the road, going 4-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his last five starts away from Great American Ball Park. The right-hander has also always given San Diego trouble, going 3-0 with a 3.48 ERA in five career starts and posting a 1.93 ERA while winning his last two outings against the Padres.
Richard (6-8, 3.64) hasn't enjoyed the same sort of success against the Reds, going 0-1 with a 5.57 ERA in four career starts, but he has been pitching like an All-Star lately. The left-hander is 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA in his last five outings, and has yielded two runs or fewer in seven of his last 10.
Against Arizona on Monday, Richard came within one out of his first complete game since 2010, permitting eight hits and a walk while striking out two in a 6-2 win. He allowed consecutive two-out, ninth-inning hits to Ryan Roberts and Gerardo Parra before being lifted."I smelled it but I couldn't reach it," Richard said. "I really wanted to finish that one out but wasn't able to do it."
Although Richard is limiting left-handed batters to a .194 average and has surrendered just one of his 14 homers to lefties, the two All-Star lefty batters in the middle of Cincinnati's lineup have given him problems in the past. Jay Bruce is 4 for 8 with a pair of doubles off Richard, while Joey Votto is 3 for 8 with a homer and a double.
Votto hit his major league-leading 35th double Friday and walked twice to bump his on-base percentage up to .468, also the best in baseball.
San Diego third baseman Chase Headley singled Friday, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. He only has one multihit game during his run and is 1 for 6 lifetime against Bailey.
|June 30, 2012||Joey Votto||Day-to-Day||Left game - left knee inflammation|
|June 28, 2012||Brandon Phillips||Day-to-Day||Head|
|June 12, 2012||Zack Cozart||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 06, 2012||Drew Stubbs||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|June 06, 2012||Drew Stubbs||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 12, 2012||Scott Rolen||15-Day DL||Strained left shoulder|
|San Diego Padres|
|July 04, 2012||Andrew Cashner||15-Day DL||Strained muscle in right side|
|June 21, 2012||Anthony Bass||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 10, 2012||Cameron Maybin||Day-to-Day||Left game - Sprained neck|
|June 04, 2012||Will Venable||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|June 04, 2012||Eric Stults||15-Day DL||Strained left latissimus dorsi muscle|
|May 31, 2012||Andy Parrino||15-Day DL||Sore right hand|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The Cincinnati Reds are feeling pretty good about themselves as the All-Star break approaches.
The Reds, whose bats were dormant for most of their longest road trip of the season, used homers from Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey to back pitcher Homer Bailey for a 6-5 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
Cincinnati evened its record at 5-5 on its season-high 11-game road trip with its second straight win.
"This is a great way for us to end this trip," rookie Todd Frazier said. "We win out (Sunday) and it gives us a winning trip and a chance to go into the break on a good note."
The Reds also got another solid outing from their starting pitcher - in this case, Bailey. Cincinnati starters have posted a 1.81 ERA on the first 11 games of the trip.
"When we come out here on the road and the rotation throws like it does," Bailey said, "good things happen."
Added Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker : "You need that some time. It keeps your bullpen strong and each guy feeds off each other."
The Reds, who scored three runs or less on six of the first nine games of the homestand, have scored six runs in each of the last two games, including hitting five home runs.
"You struggle some times, but with us we don't put our heads down," Frazier said. "We understand we have the bats to get the job done."
Frazier, who has been filling in for injured third baseman Scott Rolen the past seven games, has played a big part in the Reds' offense. In Rolen's absence, Frazier is hitting.440 (11 for 25) with two homers and seven RBIs.
Stubbs, who snapped an 0-for-32 hitless streak Friday night, homered in the first inning. Heisey, who drove in Cincinnati's only run in San Diego's 2-1 win Thursday night, hit a two-run shot in the seventh inning.
The Reds homered three times in Friday night's 6-0 victory. Cincinnati had hit just two homers in its six games before Friday.
Bailey (7-6) allowed a leadoff home run to Chris Denorfia on his first pitch.
"I didn't expect him to jump on the first pitch," Bailey said about the 91 mph fastball.
Bailey then settled down and surrendered only a pair of unearned runs heading into the seventh.
"Homer was going great, but he was running out of gas," Baker said.
The right-hander gave up four runs on seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. Bailey struck out eight and did not walk a batter, and also contributed with an RBI double.
All-Star Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for his 10th save in 14 chances.
"We had some good swings," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Our guys were looking (for a) fastball. That was just pure heat."
San Diego cut Cincinnati's lead to 6-5 in the eighth inning on Logan Forsythe 's RBI single against Sean Marshall and loaded the bases with two outs. But Logan Ondrusek came on to retire Denorfia on a fly ball to center field.
"That was a big, big out to get Denorfia, who has been one of the hottest hitters lately," Baker said.
Forsythe had three hits and two RBIs for San Diego, which lost its second straight after winning a season-high six straight games.
Chase Headley extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Carlos Quentin had an RBI single for San Diego to snap an 0-for-21 streak.
Clayton Richard (6-9), one of baseball's hottest pitchers recently, got knocked out after allowed three straight hits to open the seventh, including Heisey's homer. He gave up six runs on eight hits. The left-hander was 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA in his previous five outings and had yielded two runs or fewer in seven of his last 10 starts.
Frazier led off the Cincinnati fifth with a double and went to third on Heisey's single. Devin Mesoraco brought home one run on a groundout and Bailey doubled in another run with a line drive over Denorfia's head in right field for a 3-1 lead.
San Diego scored unearned runs in the fifth and sixth to tie the game at 3.
Frazier singled to open the seventh before Heisey's third home run. After Mesoraco's single, Dale Thayer replaced Richard. Mesoraco came around to score on Stubbs' groundout.
Notes: Bailey is 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA in his last six road starts. ... Headley's 12-game hitting streak ties Denorfia for longest streak by a Padres player this season. ... Rolen is ready to play, but Baker wanted to give him one more day to rest his back spasms, which has kept him off the field since he left last Sunday's game in the first inning. Baker said part of the reason to give Rolen another day off is the play of Frazier. In the seven games since Rolen left, Frazier is batting .440 (11 for 25) with two homers and seven RBIs. Baker said Rolen will start Sunday. ... Cincinnati's starting rotation after the All-Star break will be RHP Mat Latos , RHP Mike Leake , RHP Johnny Cueto , RHP Bronson Arroyo and Bailey. ... Kara Patterson, 2012 U.S. Olympian and American javelin record holder, and actor Charlie Sheen each threw out a first pitch. Sheen's pitch was thrown to the tune of "Wild Thing," the nickname of his character, Rick Vaughn, in the 1989 movie, "Major League." ... Cueto (9-5, 2.35) will face Padres RHP Jason Marquis (1-4, 3.49) on Sunday in the series finale.