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Surging Padres top slumping Reds

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- For the second game in a row, the San Diego Padres got a late clutch hit to beat the punchless Cincinnati Reds.

On Tuesday, it was Nick Hundley who delivered with a two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning to lift the Padres to a 4-2 victory over the Reds before an announced crowd of 29,207 at Petco Park.

Hundley delivered off Reds reliever Sam LeCure to send Cincinnati (59-49) to its fifth consecutive defeat. San Diego (50-59) has won four in a row and seven of its last nine.

"I was looking for something up in the zone that I could handle," said Hundley, who went 1-for-2 with two walks and recorded his fifth game-winning RBI of the season.

Describing the win, Padres manager Bud Black said, "Good pitching and timely hitting."

Manny Parra (1-2) was charged with a run in one-third of an inning and suffered the loss.

Dale Thayer (1-3) blanked the Reds for 1 1/3 innings before Huston Street worked a scoreless ninth for his 20th save.

Padres starter Edinson Volquez pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits in a no-decision. Volquez walked five and struck out three but was effective for much of his start.

"Everything was working tonight," said Volquez, who is 1-0 with a 3.93 ERA in three career outings against the Reds, his former club. "Great game. I'm just happy we won. It's hard pitching against your former team. I've got a better idea of facing those guys ... and I know what they're looking for and what they're trying to do."

Black said, "I thought 'Volky' hung in there. He pitched into the seventh inning and gave up just the two runs. I thought he threw the ball well. His stuff was good."

Volquez ran into trouble in the sixth when he walked Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips with one out. Jay Bruce followed with a single to center to score Votto, giving Cincinnati a 2-1 lead, but the Reds didn't score again.

In the bottom of the inning, Will Venable, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and a run, smacked an RBI double off the wall in right-center to knot the score at 2 with one out. It stayed that way until Hundley came through.

"I think we've been playing really fundamentally sound," Hundley said. "The starting pitching we've been getting has been outstanding. You win 2-1, 4-2, 1-0, those type of games. You're not winning without outstanding starting pitching. Obviously, we've done a good job with runners in scoring position. We might not get 15 hits a game, but we're driving in runs when it counts."

Former Padre Mat Latos allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and two walks (one intentional) in six innings for Cincinnati. In two meetings with the Padres since he was traded to the Reds for Volquez and four other players in 2011, Latos has received a pair of no-decisions.

"I got behind a lot of guys," said Latos, who has a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings against the Padres but nothing to show for it. "It's not what you want to try and do. I wasn't getting that first-pitch strike."

Offensively, the Reds have had a rough time generating much of anything. In the past five games, Cincinnati has managed only five total runs. The two-run output Tuesday was the Reds' best offensive showing during their five-game losing streak.

"It's just like 'Groundhog Day,'" Reds manager Dusty Baker said, referencing the Bill Murray movie. "We get runners on and we can't push them over or across."

NOTES: Padres LF Carlos Quentin returned to the starting lineup after missing Monday's contest with a minor injury to his left knee that occurred during an at-bat Sunday at Arizona. However, Quentin tweaked his right knee in Tuesday's game and will miss Wednesday's series finale against the Reds. Quentin is day-to-day. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips was back in the starting lineup Tuesday night after getting the day off Monday. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. ... Padres 3B Chase Headley did not start because Black wanted to give him a rest. Headley entered as a sub and struck out in each of his plate appearances. ... The Padres recalled RHP Miles Mikolas from Triple-A Tucson and placed RHP Sean O'Sullivan on paternity leave. The club also officially announced that OF Cameron Maybin is set to begin a rehab assignment with Tucson. ... OF Ryan Ludwick remains a "ways off" from returning to the Reds, Baker said Tuesday. Ludwick, who is 2-for-12 with one RBI in five rehab appearances in the minors, needs at least 50 at-bats before returning to Cincinnati, Baker said.
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