Padres 7, Reds 2
CINCINNATI (AP)—Tim Stauffer got a win in his major league debut and helped Bruce Bochy get No. 800.
San Diego’s eighth victory in 10 games handed Bochy his 800th win as a manager. Only Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa have more wins with their current clubs.
“To be honest, I haven’t even thought about it,” Bochy said. “I was pulling for Stauff so much.”
Stauffer (1-0), the fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft, calmed himself with deep breaths and made good pitches when it mattered. The right-hander gave up two runs, four hits and three walks in six innings, turning a 5-2 lead over to the bullpen.
The turning point came in the first inning, when Felipe Lopez hit a two-run homer and the Reds loaded the bases with no outs. Stauffer got a double play for his first great escape, then settled down while family and friends cheered from the first row behind the dugout.
“It really wasn’t nerves,” Stauffer said. “I’m sure for the people in the stands, it was a little bit different and harder for them. I was grateful to get out of that with just two runs.”
The Reds have lost 11 of 13, taking a nosedive into last place in the NL Central.
Starter Paul Wilson (1-4) failed to retire any of the eight batters he faced in his last outing—a 10-run first inning by the Dodgers on Friday. The right-hander struggled through five-plus innings this time, and ultimately got beat by an old nemesis. Klesko’s three-run homer put the Padres up 4-2 and left him 8-for-16 in his career against Wilson with six homers.
“I’m trying to make great pitches in situations where I don’t have to,” Wilson lamented.
Wilson matched his career high by giving up 12 hits overall, a fitting ending to a 2-7 homestand that was horrific and historic.
It started with St. Louis pulling off the greatest ninth-inning comeback in its history, seven runs for a 10-9 win. Closer Danny Graves got booed off the field after the Reds’ biggest ninth-inning collapse since 1952.
That year became a reference point again in Wilson’s last start, when the Reds gave up 10 first-inning runs for the first time since 1952.
Finally, Graves blew another big ninth-inning lead on Monday, allowing the Padres to rally from a 5-1 deficit to a 6-5, 13-inning victory that dropped the Reds into last place.
“It’s like I’ve been saying all along: We get good hitting and no pitching, or good pitching and no hitting,” infielder Ryan Freel said. “Today we finally clicked. We didn’t have anything.”
The final game will be remembered more for what it meant to the Padres—an eagerly awaited debut.
Stauffer, a 21-year-old with boyish looks, is repeatedly pitched in and out of trouble. He throws four pitches—fastball, changeup, curve and sinker—and is known for his composure.
It was tested right away. Stauffer hit the first batter he faced—Freel— on a 1-2 pitch, then gave up Lopez’s fourth homer. The Reds then loaded the bases with no outs—Stauffer also hit Adam Dunn on a 1-2 pitch—and Darrell May began warming up in the bullpen.
“We were kind of hoping with the way things were going, he’d just get out of the first,” Klesko said. “Your first at-bat or your first inning to pitch, it’s like you’ve got an out-of-body experience. Between the nerves and the excitement, you don’t even know what the heck you’re doing out there. But he settled down. The idea was to try to get him a lead, and he ran with it.”
The Reds loaded the bases again in the third with one out, helped by two walks, but Randa popped out and Kearns swung through a 93 mph fastball. Stauffer’s coaches and teammates applauded and patted him when he got to the bench.
“He did a great job keeping his composure,” Bochy said. “That showed how mentally tough the kid is. He could have caved in there.”
The Padres left the bases loaded twice. The Reds did it once. San Diego stranded 15 runners overall, 10 in scoring position. … Stauffer beat out an infield single in his first major league at-bat. … Bochy is the 65th manager to get 800 wins. … Ken Griffey Jr. of the Reds had a double and a single. He has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games. … Wilson is 1-7 in eight career starts against the Padres with an 8.84 ERA. … Reds C Jason LaRue was hitless in three at-bats, extended the streak to 0-for-22.
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