The Cincinnati Reds' longest winning streak in 13 years came to a crashing halt.
With the way Homer Bailey has been pitching coupled with his history against the San Diego Padres, there's reason to believe the NL Central leaders can bounce back Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati (61-41) entered Monday's opener winners of 17 of 19 and with victories in each of its last 10. It looked like it would be able to make it 11 in a row for the first time in 55 years leading 3-0 after one inning, but San Diego answered with five in the second and four in the third and handed the Reds an 11-5 loss.
"It seemed like we were dragging,'' said manager Dusty Baker, whose team maintained its three-game lead over Pittsburgh.
Frustration boiled over in the third as catcher Devin Mesoraco was ejected for arguing a pitch call by plate umpire Chad Fairchild. He then poked at his chest protector and bumped him before leaving the field, which will land him with a suspension.
Baker will need his starter to go deep Tuesday after Mike Leake got only five outs in the opener, and Bailey (9-6, 3.53 ERA) should be up to the task.
Bailey's four-start winning streak ended Friday in Houston, but he certainly pitched well enough to win, yielding four hits while striking out seven in seven scoreless innings of a 5-3 victory. The right-hander lowered his ERA in his five July starts to 1.43.
Victory No. 2 of his winning streak came in San Diego on July 7, when he allowed four runs - two earned - and seven hits with eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-5 final. He has a 2.18 ERA in winning his last three starts against the Padres, and is 4-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his last five in the series with the Reds winning each time.
He'll be facing a San Diego offense that matched its highest-scoring output of the season Monday. Will Venable drove in four runs, Carlos Quentin homered and knocked in three and Yonder Alonso, acquired from Cincinnati as part of the Mat Latos trade, tied a Padres record with three doubles among his four hits.
Alonso is 9 for 18 with five doubles, a homer and six RBIs during a four-game hitting streak for San Diego (44-60), which improved to 16-10 since June 30.
"We've been playing well over the last five or six weeks," manager Bud Black said. "We had some big nights from a number of guys.''
Black next gives the ball to Jason Marquis (4-5, 3.48), who is coming off one of his best starts.
In San Francisco on Wednesday, Marquis gave up three runs - one earned - and three hits in a season-high 7 1-3 innings of a 6-3 victory. He struck out eight to win his third straight start since the All-Star break. He hasn't won four in a row since June 2008, while pitching for the Chicago Cubs.
In his final outing before the Midsummer Classic on July 8, the veteran righty allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings of a 4-2 loss to Cincinnati. He has given up three runs or fewer in each of his last four starts versus the Reds, and should be able to cool off one of their hottest hitters.
Drew Stubbs, who hit his 13th homer Monday and is batting .375 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in his last seven games, is 1 for 6 with five strikeouts lifetime against Marquis.
- Cincinnati Reds
- San Diego Padres
- San Diego
- Homer Bailey