The Cincinnati Reds haven’t had much luck recently against the NL West, especially on the road.
The Reds look to avoid a season-high fifth consecutive loss Tuesday when they continue their three-game series with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
Cincinnati (15-24) lost 7-1 in Monday’s series opener after being swept in three games by the Dodgers in Los Angeles over the weekend. The Reds have not lost five in a row since dropping six straight road games Aug. 25-30.
The Reds, who have dropped 11 of their last 13 games, have also lost six straight on the road. They have not lost seven straight away from home since an eight-game slide May 31-June 15, 2005.
The Reds have especially struggled against the NL West this season, going 1-6 on the road and 2-8 overall. Cincinnati was just 11-20 against NL West teams last season, including 4-11 on the road.
Greg Maddux pitched a five-hitter Monday against the Reds, who did not score until Ken Griffey Jr.’s sacrifice fly in the ninth. Brandon Phillips struck out to end the game but singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 17 games—the longest by a Reds batter since Sean Casey hit in 21 straight from July 4-30, 2000.
Phillips is 26-for-77 (.338) during the hitting streak, raising his average 56 points to .278.
“Runs are a beautiful thing,” Maddux said. “We got a lot of runs early, so every pitch, the game is not on the line. That’s a good feeling.”
Aaron Harang (5-1, 5.04 ERA) will look to help the Reds bounce back after allowing five runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings of Thursday’s 9-5 win over Houston. He has given up five runs in each of his last three starts, but gone 2-1 over that span, receiving nine runs of support in the two victories.
Harang is getting an average of 8.64 runs of support, the most among qualifying NL starters. The San Diego native is 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in three starts in his hometown—including two wins at Petco.
“The best part is being able to sleep in my own bed,” he told the Reds’ official Web site. “I went to quite a few Padres games growing up.”
Harang is 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA in five lifetime starts against the Padres, but the only loss came in his last outing against them on Sept. 14, when he allowed four runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-2 defeat.
The Padres will counter with fellow San Diego native David Wells (1-2, 6.32), who allowed five runs in 5 2-3 innings of Thursday’s 5-3 loss in Atlanta. The 44-year-old left-hander has not lasted six innings in any of his last four starts, allowing 17 runs over that span.
Wells made 11 starts for the Reds in 1995, going 6-5 with a 3.59 ERA in those outings. He is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five career starts against his former team, but did not get a decision in his last outing despite limiting the Reds to one run in six innings on Sept. 3.