San Diego (37-62) at Cincinnati (48-52)

Fair Currently: Cincinnati, OH
Temp: 39° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Mon Jul 21, 2008
  • TV: Ch4, FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The last time the Cincinnati Reds faced the San Diego Padres, they squandered two late leads before losing in the 18th inning on a walk-off home run.

The Reds hope to take advantage of the lowly Padres this time when the teams open a three-game set in Cincinnati on Monday night.

On May 25, the Reds (48-52) wasted one-run leads in the eighth and ninth innings before San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run shot in the 18th to beat them 12-9.

Cincinnati stranded 17 runners in that contest as it settled for a split of the four-game series, during which its starting pitchers went 1-1 with a 5.32 ERA.

The Reds have been better of late, splitting a four-game weekend set with the New York Mets. Their rotation went 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA in the last three games, although Cincinnati lost Sunday’s finale 7-5 in 10 innings.

“We’re getting good pitching, they’re keeping us in games and we’re driving in runners when we should,” Reds left fielder Adam Dunn said.

Dunn has done his part in driving in at least one run over the last 11 games. Seven of his eight hits in that span have been homers, and he’s produced 14 RBIs.

He went 5-for-12 with two homers and three RBIs in the last series against San Diego.

The Padres (37-62), owners of the worst record in baseball, are hoping to avoid losing a seventh consecutive game. They dropped a season-high eight in a row from June 21-29, and are coming off a four-game sweep at St. Louis, capped by a 9-5 defeat on Sunday when Aaron Miles hit a walk-off grand slam.

“Hey, we’ve got to keep playing,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “You saw us come back after going down two runs in the ninth. That can be demoralizing, but I think you saw our team bounced back.”

The Reds will give Homer Bailey (0-3, 7.00 ERA) his second start in place of Aaron Harang, who is on the disabled list with a strained forearm.

The 22-year-old right-hander didn’t get a decision in his first outing for Harang on July 13, yielding two runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 3-2 loss at Milwaukee just hours after being recalled from Triple-A Louisville. He hasn’t recorded a victory in either the majors or Triple-A since April 30.

Bailey, considered one of the team’s top pitching prospects, has struggled through four starts after showing signs of promise last year with a 4-2 record and 5.76 ERA in nine starts.

His counterpart will be San Diego’s Josh Banks (2-4, 3.20), who is 0-4 with a 5.40 ERA in his last five starts.

Banks was impressive against Cincinnati in the 18-inning meeting on May 25, scattering five hits in the final six innings to get his first career victory. That performance came a night after he allowed three hits in two innings of relief in a 7-2 loss following his recall from Triple-A Portland on May 22.

The right-hander was then moved into the rotation and went 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two starts before going winless in his next five. His last appearance came out of the bullpen on July 13, as he allowed one run and two hits in the seventh inning of a 12-3 loss to Atlanta.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Banks SF vs. H. Bailey Cin
3-6 Record 0-6
4.75 ERA 7.93
43 K 18
32 BB 17
1.48 WHIP 2.09

Scoreboard

Monday, Jul 21