The Reds can win 11 in a row for the first time in 55 years Monday night when Volquez returns to Cincinnati with the San Diego Padres in the opener of a four-game set.
Cincinnati (61-40) is seeking its first 11-game run since the 1957 team won 12 straight April 30-May 12. The Reds are tied with NL East leader Washington for baseball's best record.
They never won more than seven in a row the last four years with Volquez (6-7, 3.30 ERA), who was traded to San Diego (43-60) in December as part of the Mat Latos deal. Those were the pitchers July 5 when the Reds got their first look at Volquez at Petco Park.
The right-hander yielded one run over seven innings with a season-high 10 strikeouts and did not get a decision in the Padres' 2-1 victory. Volquez is 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA in his last six starts, giving up two runs over seven innings Tuesday in a 3-2 defeat at San Francisco.
Volquez went 14-9 with a 4.38 ERA at Great American Ball Park with the Reds. His run support average of 2.59 is the worst for any starter.
The Reds should be up for the challenge of facing him, winning 17 of 19 since they first saw him and taking the final three contests of that series at Petco from July 5-8. They outhomered the Padres 7-2 in that set, and their starters went 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA.
Mike Leake (4-6, 4.12) was the lone Reds starter not to pitch in that series as he heads into his first career outing against his hometown team. The San Diego-born right-hander has been pitching better after some early struggles, going 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in his last seven starts.
Leake allowed two runs over eight innings Tuesday to earn a 4-2 victory at Houston. He has failed to receive a decision in his last six home outings.
Cincinnati capped a 6-0 road trip with Sunday's 7-2 win over Colorado. Second baseman Brandon Phillips left in the fifth inning with cramping in his left calf but said he should be fine."I'm all right. The knot is still there but I'll be OK," he said. "People were saying it was the altitude, the dry heat, I didn't drink enough water or something. I'm ready to play (Monday). I think I'm going to play."
Center fielder Drew Stubbs went 10 for 27 with three homers and 10 RBIs on the trip.
Padres slugger Yonder Alonso also returns to Cincinnati after going west with Latos. Alonso went 5 for 13 with a homer and five RBIs over the weekend as the Padres lost two of three in Miami.
"He's had some nice stretches," manager Bud Black told the Padres' official website. "This was a good series for him, so let's hope he continues that into Cincinnati."
The Reds have won 11 of 13 without injured star Joey Votto , who is eligible to return off the disabled list Tuesday but won't be back in this series.
|San Diego Padres|
|July 28, 2012||Joe Thatcher||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|July 18, 2012||Cameron Maybin||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|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|
|July 16, 2012||Joey Votto||Day-to-Day||Torn meniscus, left knee - out 3-4 weeks|
|July 16, 2012||Joey Votto||15-Day DL||Torn meniscus, left knee|
|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|
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Mike Leake didn't even last two innings. Catcher Devin Mesoraco got ejected and bumped an umpire on the way out. The pitching staff walked a season-high 11 batters in all.
One of the longest streaks in Reds history ended with a lot of ugliness.
Will Venable drove in four runs with a single and a bases-loaded triple Monday night, and the San Diego Padres ended Cincinnati's 10-game winning streak with an 11-5 victory that left the Reds with a bad taste.
"It seemed like we were dragging," manager Dusty Baker said. "It was a bad night for everybody. We haven't been blown out in a long time."
The Reds were trying to extend only the eighth double-digit winning streak in franchise history. The 1939 and 1957 clubs share the franchise record with 12 straight wins.
Not even close.
Leake (4-7) retired only five batters in the shortest start of his career. The Reds' 11 walks were their most in a nine-inning game since 2004. Mesoraco was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, then poked a finger at plate umpire Chad Fairchild's chest protector and bumped him before leaving.
The rookie catcher faces a suspension.
"I think, first and foremost, the game wasn't going the way we hoped and there was some frustration there," Mesoraco said. "I disagreed with his calls throughout the game. You saw what happened next.
"Frustration got the best of me and I lost my cool. You want to stand up for your pitcher. I'm not perfect by any means."
Former Reds played starring roles in stopping their streak. Edinson Volquez (7-7) got the win, and Yonder Alonso tied a Padres record with three doubles.
"It's very special," Alonso said about his return to Great American Ball Park. "This was my home at one point and I was excited. The guys here were great. They showed me the way."
The former Reds reminded their old team what it feels like to get knocked around. They had a lot of help from the rest of the lineup, too.
Carlos Quentin homered and drove in three runs for the Padres, who matched their season high for runs. The 11 runs equaled the most allowed by Cincinnati this season.
The NL Central leaders had a lot of things go their way during the 10-game streak, which matched the New York Yankees for longest in the majors this season. After a fast start Monday, everything came apart.
The Reds lost for only the third time in their last 20 games. They've gone 11-3 since first baseman Joey Votto learned he needed surgery on his left knee, sidelining him for about a month.
The package of players they traded away last December helped end the streak.
Cincinnati sent four players to the Padres for starter Mat Latos , a move that solidified the rotation. All four got into the game - Volquez went five innings, Alonso started at first, Yasmani Grandal was behind the plate and Brad Boxberger relieved Volquez. Boxberger was called up from the minors earlier in the day.
Cincinnati essentially gave up on Volquez after four inconsistent seasons, but he has steadied himself with San Diego. The right-hander pitched well against his former team on July 5, allowing only one run in eight innings of a 2-1 victory.
He had a tougher time in the rematch, giving up five runs in five innings, including solo homers by Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce .
Volquez hadn't allowed five earned runs in any of his last six starts. His record was more a reflection of the Padres' lack of offense. They averaged only 2.59 runs when he was on the mound, the lowest run support in the majors.
No problem this time.
Leake threw 32 pitches in the second and retired only two of the nine batters he faced. San Diego sent 10 batters to the plate for five runs, with Leake walking three to keep it going. Venable singled home a run, and Quentin's two-run single made it 5-3 and ended the shortest outing of Leake's career after 49 pitches, only 25 of them strikes.
"I felt good. I felt fine," Leake said. "That one inning, I couldn't throw the ball where I wanted it."
Reliever Alfredo Simon also had trouble throwing strikes. He walked two in the third inning, and Venable's bases-loaded triple made it 8-3. Venable scored on Simon's wild pitch.
NOTES: Alonso has nine multi-double games this season, a club record. ... Grandal left in the second inning after straining muscles in his right side on a hard swing. He'll be evaluated again on Tuesday. ... The Padres put LH reliever Joe Thatcher on the 15-day DL with tendinitis in his right knee. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips was back in the lineup. He left Sunday's game with a cramp in his left calf. ... Scott Rolen 's RBI single extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games.
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