With a seven-game road trip versus National League Central foes looming, the Cincinnati Reds again try to take care of business against the San Diego Padres when the clubs collide at Great American Ball Park Saturday evening.
The Reds, who are due to take on the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers beginning next week, logged their third straight win and the fourth in the last five outings on Friday when they lit up the Padres in a 7-2 series opener of the three-game set. Currently third in the NL Central standings and six games out of first, the Reds were paced by Todd Frazier, Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, each of whom had two hits. Frazier scored three times and the other two both knocked in a pair of runs as the Reds moved to 36-19 at home.
Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo moved over the .500 mark with his 10th win of the campaign, allowing just a single run on four hits, striking out seven over the course of seven innings.
"It was an all-around good ballgame," Arroyo said. "We had some clutch hitting with two outs and all the good stuff we need to continue on a good pace."
Will Venable and Logan Forsythe provided all of the offense for the visiting Padres as they both connected on solo home runs in the team's third consecutive setback and the fourth in the last five contests. San Diego logged a total of six hits in the meeting, two coming from Chase Headley.
Andrew Cashner was charged with the loss, his sixth of the season, as he gave up five runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and four walks. Cashner struck out only three through five innings of work for a club that is 13 games out of contention in the NL West.
"We just got behind the eight ball early," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Arroyo stymied us the first three innings with his assortment of pitches. We just couldn't get anything going early (and) they got to Cash. From there, we couldn't mount anything offensively, and they just kept chipping away at us."
Gunning for his third consecutive win tonight for the Reds will be second-year pitcher Tony Cingrani, who is getting his first-ever look at the Padres with this encounter.
The Rice product last pitched a week ago versus St. Louis at home, capturing his second victory in the last three appearances, but just the second overall since the second week of June. Against the Cardinals Cingrani permitted three runs on four hits and walked a season-high five, while striking out seven, over five innings of action.
As for the Padres, they are hoping Tyson Ross can pitch well enough in order to get them into the win column once again. Ross, who is just 8-23 in his four-year career and has never won more than three games in any one season, is trying to match that number tonight as he shoots for his third triumph in the last four decisions overall.
The right-hander was last in action a week ago when he gave up only two runs on three hits and a trio of walks, fanning a season-high nine over six innings of work in a 3-0 loss versus the New York Yankees at home.
Ross has pitched only one other time against Cincinnati in his career, lasting two innings while giving up two hits and striking out one.
With the win on Friday, the Reds have knotted the season series at two games apiece. Cincinnati has won the series in each of the previous two campaigns by a combined 10-4 margin.