A frustrating and familiar story line proved costly for the Cincinnati Reds.
The game featured a pitching matchup between Cincinnati's Mat Latos and San Diego's Edinson Volquez, who were part of a five-player offseason trade between the clubs. But it was the Reds' inability to score that hurt as Everth Cabrera hit a bases-loaded single in the ninth inning to give San Diego a 2-1 win Thursday night.
"We haven't been getting the big hits to get a rally going," Reds first baseman Joey Votto said, "and get a bunch of runs on the board."
The Reds have suddenly hit the skids offensively as they have scored one run in each of their last three contests, losing all to fall two games behind first-place Pittsburgh in the NL Central.
The Reds held a 1-0 lead into the eighth before San Diego pinch-hitter Logan Forsythe tied the game at 1 when he homered off reliever Sean Marshall to lead off the inning. Forsythe's homer, his first as a pinch hitter, carried into the second deck of the brick Western Metal Supply Co. building in left field.
Rookie Yasmani Grandal, part of the deal with Cincinnati, hit a leadoff triple in the ninth against Logan Ondrusek (3-2), who then intentionally walked Yonder Alonso. Cameron Maybin followed with a bunt that bounced high in the air and left no play to load the bases.
The Reds brought in Sam LeCure and played the infield and outfield in before Cabrera's game-winning hit, a fly ball that hit the left-field wall on one bounce, gave San Diego its season-high sixth straight win.
"You can't win close games doing the things we have been doing," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "We had runners on third twice and scored only once. It's a number of things."
All-Star Huston Street (2-0) pitched the ninth for the win.
The Padres' rally ruined a sterling outing by Latos, who faced his former team for the first time since the deal that sent four players to San Diego. The Reds dealt Volquez, former first-round picks Alonso, Grandal and reliever Brad Boxberger to San Diego in December in exchange for Latos.
Latos did not allow a run on four hits over seven innings. He struck out eight walked two.
"He came back with a lot of emotions," Baker said. "He pitched a great game. It's tough. You just hate to have two hours of work erased in minutes."
Volquez gave up just one run on five hits in seven innings. The right-hander struck out 10 while walking three to increase his major league-leading total to 63.
The Reds jumped ahead in the second after Jay Bruce led off with a walk and scored on Chris Heisey's one-out triple.
San Diego advanced only one runner to third base against Latos. That came after Alonso's double with one out. Maybin then hit a slow roller to second baseman Brandon Phillips. Maybin slid head-first into the bag and TV replays clearly showed he was safe.
But first-base umpire Brian Knight called Maybin out, prompting San Diego manager Bud Black to argue the call. Black was ejected by Knight.
With Alonso at third, Latos struck out Cabrera.
Latos is 7-0 in his last 14 starts with a 3.43 ERA after starting the season 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA in his first three outings.
Volquez, who came in with the second-lowest run support in the majors at 2.69 runs, has allowed just one run in each of his last three starts while giving up only 11 hits and striking out 30 over that span.
Notes: Latos lost the chance to become the first Reds pitcher since Jose Rijo in 1990 to throw three straight complete games in the same season. ... Volquez threw a career-high 127 pitches. ... In his first three major league seasons with San Diego from 2009-11, Latos went 27-29 with a 3.37 ERA in 72 starts. ... Over four seasons with Cincinnati from 2008-11, Volquez was 30-18 with a 4.17 ERA in 74 games, including 73 starts. ... Reds 3B Scott Rolen was out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game with back spasms. ... NBA Hall of Famer and San Diego native Bill Walton threw out the first pitch — or pitches. Walton threw two pitches into the dirt before he finally threw a strike to Padres pitcher Clayton Richard. ... The Padres will honor longtime bullpen catcher Darrel Akerfelds for the remainder of the season by hanging his No. 48 jersey on the inside of bullpen fence in center field. Akerfelds died of pancreatic cancer on June 24.