CINCINNATI - The San Diego Padres are without two of their best players: Shortstop Everth Cabrera is suspended for performance-enhancing drug use tied to the Biogenesis clinic, and outfielder Carlos Quentin is on the disabled list with a right knee sprain. So, the short-handed Padres are keeping things simple.
"You can't do more than what you're able to," said centerfielder Will Venable. "Just know what kind of player you are, and maximize your ability. We're down a couple guys and everybody needs to step up and do their job."
On Saturday night, Venable contributed with his 15th home run, and right-hander Tyson Ross allowed one run and four hits through seven innings, lifting the Padres to a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Ross (3-5) kept the Reds off balance for most the night, despite tying a season-high with four walks. He struck out six, helping San Diego end a three-game losing streak.
"I had great defense behind me tonight," said Ross. "I thought I struggled early but started to settle in a little bit. Too many walks. But the guys made plays behind me."
Huston Street pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and struck out two for his 22nd save.
Reds starter Tony Cingrani (5-2) was mostly the victim of poor luck on Saturday. But he finished with four hitless innings to keep the score close.
Cincinnati (64-52) committed four errors, including a career-high three miscues by third baseman Jack Hannahan.
"It's not typical of a big league team," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "We didn't play well. Jack just had a bad day. I've seen some of the best have bad nights. We also had a couple of baserunning mistakes. I have no explanation."
San Diego (53-63) managed just four hits Saturday, but took advantage of Cincinnati's defensive misplays and a crucial base-running mistake.
Trailing 2-1 in the seventh, the Reds ran themselves out of a scoring chance. With runners on second and third, Devin Mesoraco flew out to shallow right field. Xavier Paul, who was on first, attempted to reach second but was retired for a 9-3-6 double play.
"It was an aggressive play, an aggressive mistake," said Paul. "You don't want to commit errors that cost us wins, and that's what happened today."
Venable gave the bullpen some breathing room when he launched a 1-2 pitch from left-hander Manny Parra into the right field seats putting the Padres ahead 3-1 in the eighth. Venable went 2-for-4 and scored twice.
"The pitch before was going to hit me if I didn't foul it off," said Venable. "Had an idea he would come back with a slider. I was able to adjust enough to get my barrel on it and flip it out of here."
San Diego grabbed the lead in the first inning, aided by two Cincinnati errors.
Chris Denorfia singled and scored from first on Venable's single to left field when Paul bobbled the ball for an error, putting the Padres ahead 1-0. Venable later scored from second on Hannahan's throwing error.
"I'm 33 years old. I've been around," said Hannahan. "It's baseball. I just have to come back tomorrow and be ready to play. At no time did I not want the ball hit to me."
Brandon Phillips' RBI single in the bottom of the first put the Reds on the board. But that would be all the scoring for Cincinnati against Ross.
"He had a good changeup tonight," said Padres manager Bud Black of Ross. "The key for him is hitting spots with his fastball. If he can do that, we have a nice pitcher on our hands. "
Cingrani didn't allow a hit after the first inning, giving up two unearned runs and two hits in five innings. Baker said the rookie left-hander deserved a better fate on Saturday.
"When you make four errors, that's four potential outs," said Baker. "And it probably cost him 40 pitches."
NOTES: The last Reds player to commit three errors in a game was Edwin Encarnacion on April 12, 2006 at Wrigley Field. .. Venable extended his hitting streak to seven games. .. Padres LF Carlos Quentin was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 31, with a right knee sprain and OF Jaff Decker was recalled from Triple-A. ... Reds LF Ryan Ludwick worked out Saturday and is expected to be activated on Monday. Ludwick has been on the DL since Opening Day when he tore the labrum in his right shoulder. ... Without Everth Cabrera and Quentin, Padres manager Bud Black is discouraging his players from trying to do too much. "We can't have guys stepping outside the box," Black said. "It needs to be all of us, collectively, with situational hitting and playing the right way on defense." ... Former Reds OF Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame on Saturday. Griffey played eight seasons for the Reds, his hometown team, and hit 630 career homers.