Padres-Reds Preview

The Associated Press

The San Diego Padres' struggling offense caught a few breaks from the Cincinnati Reds' defense to help end the team's losing streak, but runs may be even tougher to come by against Mike Leake.

That is, of course, unless Leake's struggles from his last outing carry over into Sunday's contest in Cincinnati.

San Diego (53-63) had scored six runs during a three-game losing streak and learned Sunday that Carlos Quentin, who leads the club with 45 RBIs, is headed to the 15-day disabled list due to a strained knee that has caused him to miss the last eight games.

With Everth Cabrera, the NL's leader with 37 stolen bases, already serving a 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, the Padres' offense will need others to step up.

They got help Saturday, as the Reds committed a season-worst four errors - three from third baseman Jack Hannahan - that led to two unearned runs in San Diego's 3-1 victory. Will Venable homered for the second straight game, hitting a solo shot in the eighth.

''You can't do more than you're able to do,'' Venable said. ''You know what kind of player you are. Especially being down a couple of guys, everybody needs to do a better job."

Venable will look to extend his seven-game hitting streak against Leake (10-5, 2.94 ERA), who was roughed up in his latest outing.

Leake had gone 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA over his previous four starts before giving up a season-worst seven runs in five innings of a 15-2 loss to St. Louis on Sunday.

That poor outing followed a solid performance against San Diego on July 29, when he gave up four hits in seven scoreless innings before Chris Denorfia hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Padres a 2-1 win.

Leake is having the best season of his four-year career and credits changes in his approach for his success.

"I'm thinking for myself a little more than last year or the year before," Leake told the team's official website. "I definitely feel like I'm not (as) scared to throw certain pitches as I was the last couple of years."

The right-hander will be opposed by Ian Kennedy, who will be making his second start for the Padres.

Kennedy (4-8, 5.14) won his first start since being acquired from Arizona at the non-waiver trade deadline as he allowed two runs and struck out six in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Sunday.

He had gone 0-5 with a 5.82 ERA over his previous 10 outings since beating the Chicago Cubs on June 1.

''A lot of things going on," Kennedy said after the win. "I got the first one out of the way and the offense carried me.''

The right-hander hasn't needed much help against the Reds, though, winning all three starts while posting a 1.27 ERA. He gave up one run and struck out seven in eight innings of a 7-1 victory the last time he faced them in Cincinnati on July 18, 2012, with the Diamondbacks.

The Reds (64-52) had their three-game winning streak snapped Saturday, as Brandon Phillips drove in their only run. They hadn't committed four errors since finishing with five exactly one year ago in a win over the Cubs.

"I have no explanation,'' manager Dusty Baker said.

Cincinnati had won four straight home meetings over the Padres prior to Saturday.

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