The Cincinnati Reds finally ended their losing streak at six games. That’s given them a chance to move into the NL wild-card lead Saturday.
The Reds look to jump past the San Diego Padres and into playoff position when the teams continue their three-game series at Petco Park.
Cincinnati (68-67) beat San Diego 6-2 on Friday, ending its slide and moving within a half-game of the Padres (68-66).
“We’re in September already and these guys took over the lead in the wild card from us, so this was probably as big a game as we’ve had in a while,” said Reds starter Bronson Arroyo, who picked up the victory with seven innings of two-run ball.
The Philadelphia Phillies, whose game with Atlanta was rained out, are also a half-game back.
With a victory Saturday, the Reds would regain the wild-card lead they gave up with the long losing streak.
Ken Griffey Jr. went 0-for-5, ending his 15-game hitting streak.
“I think it helped that I laid on the beach yesterday,” Aurilia said of the Reds’ chance to relax on a rare off-day Thursday. “We needed a day to just step back and reflect. We were terrible. We’re fortunate to be where we are right now. So is everybody else. Nobody’s running away with this thing except the Mets. We’re lucky to be where we are, and now we need to take advantage of it.”
Kyle Lohse (1-1, 2.78 ERA) looks to bounce back from his worst start as a Red when he takes the mound Saturday. Lohse was 1-0 with a 1.65 ERA in his first five games since being acquired from Minnesota on July 31, but was hit hard Sunday by San Francisco.
Lohse gave up five runs and 10 hits in five innings of an 8-0 loss. The eight runs matched the total he allowed in his previous five starts with Cincinnati.
“The main thing before I’ve been able to get ahead with my fastball and location,” Lohse said. “That didn’t happen today. They jumped on a lot of first-pitch fastballs. I threw a lot of bad strikes.”
Saturday’s game will be his first career start against San Diego.
Jake Peavy (7-13, 4.51), who will take the ball for the Padres on Saturday, had pitched well over the last month until Sunday’s start against Colorado.
The right-hander allowed six runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-3 loss.
“Jake had good stuff early, but I think he just fatigued there,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. “He had a sinus infection for a couple of days and it has taken a lot out of him.”
Before that outing, Peavy had been 3-2 with a 2.01 ERA in his last six starts, a strong stretch for a pitcher whose ERA was 5.15 on July 21.
Left-hander David Wells, whom San Diego acquired from Boston on Thursday to bolster its rotation for the stretch run, will start Sunday’s series finale.