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Last-place Reds have lost seven straight series. What's gone wrong?

May 20—April showers bring May flowers — or sorrows, in the case of the Cincinnati Reds.

The facts tell the sad story:

—The Reds have slipped to last place in the National League Central Division in the second month of the season. Entering an off day Monday, they trailed the Milwaukee Brewers by 8 1/2 games.

—The Reds have lost seven straight series.

—The Reds have lost 15 of their last 18 games. There were 16-13 on April 29 and are 19-28 after a 3-2 loss in 10 innings to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.

"Nobody's feeling sorry for us," manager David Bell told Bally Sports Cincinnati on Saturday in Los Angeles. "We don't want anybody to. We're moving forward. This is what it takes to be good. You have to go through times like this, and you have to handle it right. That's my focus. That's our focus."

The Reds start a nine-game homestand Tuesday with a 6:40 p.m. game against the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park. Three-game series against the Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals follow.

What has gone wrong for the Reds? Here's a short list:

1. Injuries: Matt McLain, the Reds' best hitter a season ago, has not played this season and won't play until later this season because of a left shoulder injury.

Center fielder TJ Friedl, first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand, starting pitcher Nick Lodolo and reliever Justin Wilson are all on the injured list at the moment.

2. Stagnant offense: The Reds scored five runs in three straight losses to the Dodgers over the weekend after opening the series with a 7-2 victory Thursday.

The Reds have scored three or fewer runs 11 times in 17 games in May. In the last 30 days, they rank 27th in baseball out of 30 teams with 93 runs in 28 games, an average of 3.3 runs per game.

The Reds are hitting .217 as a team this season. Only the Chicago White Sox (.215) have a worst average. The Reds have not hit worse than .227 over the course of a full season, not counting the 60-game season of 2020 when they hit .212.

3. Slumping newcomers: Third baseman Jeimer Candelario, who the Reds signed as a free agent in December, is hitting .220 in 41 games. He hit .251 last season.

Infielder Santiago Espinal, who the Reds acquired in a trade in March, is hitting .200 in 36 games. He hit .248 last season with the Toronto Blue Jays.

4. Struggling stars: Left fielder Spencer Steer hit .271 last season in his first full season in the big leagues and is hitting .224 this season.

Second baseman Jonathan India hit .252 in his first three seasons with the Reds and is hitting .219 this season.

Encarnacion-Strand hit .270 in 63 games as a rookie last season and was hitting .190 in 29 games this season when he went on the injured list May 8.

TUESDAY'S GAME

Padres at Reds, 6:40 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410