San Diego, CA – Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning Sunday to power the Cincinnati Reds past the San Diego Padres, 4-2, in the finale of a four-game set.
Brandon Phillips added three hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Reds, who won the last three games of the series and head into the All-Star break in second place in the NL Central with a 47-38 record.
Johnny Cueto (10-5) allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five over 5 2/3 innings to earn the win.
Aroldis Chapman worked a perfect ninth to record his 11th save of the year.
Jason Marquis (1-5) gave up three runs on seven hits over five-plus innings to take the loss for San Diego, which enters the break with a 34-53 record and 13 games off the pace of the NL West. Marquis did not issue a walk and struck out five.
The Reds stranded a man on second in the first inning and a man on third in the third before breaking through in the fourth when Bruce followed Phillips' leadoff single with a shot over the center-field wall.
Ludwick followed with a blast into the second deck in left field to give Cincinnati a 3-0 advantage.
Joey Votto looked as if he would extend the Reds' lead in the fifth inning when he hammered a ball to left-center field, but Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin made a running, leaping grab at the wall to bring the ball back in the yard.
"We hung in there. It was just that stretch of three hitters in the middle of their order. Phillips, Bruce and Ludwick," said Padres manager Bud Black. "That's what they do. They homer. That's how they win."
Maybin then led off the home fifth with a double into the left-field corner and moved to third on Everth Cabrera's fly out to left field before crossing the plate two batters later when Chris Denorfia beat out a potential inning- ending double play.
Denorfia would advance to third on a Logan Forsythe single, but Chase Headley's grounder to second ended the inning and kept it a 3-1 game.
After the Reds failed to capitalize on a bases loaded opportunity in the sixth inning, San Diego cut into its deficit in the bottom of the frame by loading the bases with two outs and Mark Kotsay worked a pinch-hit walk to bring home Yasmani Grandal.
Sam LeCure, though, entered in relief and limited the damage to just the one run as Denorfia flied out to right to end the threat.
Cincinnati got that run back in the seventh when Zack Cozart doubled to left, moved to third on a Drew Stubbs sacrifice bunt and crossed the plate on Phillips' base hit through the right side of the infield.
LeCure and Sean Marshall then combined to pitch a scoreless bottom of the seventh before Marshall tossed a perfect eighth and Chapman shut the door in the ninth to close out the game for the Reds.
Cincinnati hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time this season...It was the first time in 11 games that a Reds pitcher failed to pitch at least six innings...Headley went 0-for-4 to snap his 12-game hit streak...Cincinnati hit 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 12 man on base...The Padres went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.