San Diego (53-66) at Cincinnati (57-61)

Fair Currently: Cincinnati, OH
Temp: 90° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Fri Aug 12, 2011
  • TV: Ch4, FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Cincinnati Reds’ pursuit of .500 continues. The San Diego Padres have a ways to go to reach that point, but at least they’re playing better.

The Reds and Padres each go for a third straight win Friday night when they open a three-game series in Cincinnati.

Needing a sweep to return to .500 for the first time since they were 44-44 on July 6, the Reds (57-61) salvaged a split of a four-game series with Colorado with Thursday’s 2-1 victory.

Winner of six of eight, San Diego (53-66) also looks to build momentum following a four-game split with New York.

“We’re doing awesome,” Heath Bell(notes) said after earning his 32nd save Thursday in a 3-2 win over the Mets that improved San Diego to 5-2 on its 10-game trip. “The bullpen, if we hadn’t made mistakes on Monday and Tuesday (allowing eight runs in 3 1-3 innings) we wouldn’t have lost on this road trip yet.”

The Padres, batting .322 and averaging 8.4 runs on the trip, will try to continue their hot hitting with Mat Latos(notes) (6-11, 3.87 ERA) taking the ball Friday.

After San Diego scored 14 runs in his previous six starts - the right-hander went 0-3 with a 3.26 ERA during that stretch - Latos allowed two runs over seven innings in Sunday’s 7-3 win at Pittsburgh.

It was his first victory in seven outings.

“Everything was good,” Latos, who retired 14 of the first 16 batters he faced, told the Padres’ official website. “… We just went right after hitters.”

Making his season debut following a stint on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder, Latos gave up three runs over six innings in a 3-2 home loss to Cincinnati on April 11.

Latos is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against the Reds. In his third career outing, he allowed one hit—a solo homer—in seven innings of a 7-1 victory at Cincinnati on July 29, 2009.

The Reds continue their seven-game homestand with Bronson Arroyo(notes) (7-9, 5.48) on the hill. The veteran right-hander is 0-3 with a 6.50 ERA in his last seven starts, and he allowed four runs and five hits while walking three over six innings in Sunday’s 8-7 win at Chicago.

Arroyo is 4-7 with a 4.83 ERA in 12 starts against the Padres, losing his last three decisions while posting a 6.75 ERA.

He should be careful pitching to center fielder Cameron Maybin(notes), who is batting .344 (11 for 32) with a homer and four RBIs on San Diego’s trip.

Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson(notes) has missed the last two games with a strained right groin and is questionable for the series opener.

Hudson went 5 for 13 in a three-game series against the Reds from April 11-13, including a walkoff RBI single in a 3-2 victory that prevented the Padres from getting swept.

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips(notes) could miss his third consecutive game after getting hit by a pitch on the left elbow Tuesday. The All-Star would not take a cortisone shot before Thursday’s game.

“If they have to stick me to play, it’s just more reason I shouldn’t be playing,” Phillips said.

Reds right fielder Jay Bruce(notes), 6 for 14 with two homers and six RBIs during the Rockies series, went 1 for 7 in two games in San Diego in April.

Joey Votto(notes) had five hits in 12 at-bats during that series, but he is a career .152 (5 for 33) hitter in 10 home games against the Padres.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Latos LAD vs. B. Arroyo LAD
9-14 Record 9-12
3.47 ERA 5.07
185 K 108
62 BB 45
1.18 WHIP 1.37

Scoreboard

Friday, Aug 12