Masset struggles again in Reds' loss to Padres
SAN DIEGO – Cincinnati Reds reliever Nick Masset is off to a rough start.
Masset allowed Orlando Hudson's bases-loaded, opposite-field single with two outs in the ninth inning that gave the San Diego Padres a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.
Hudson hit the first pitch he saw from Masset (0-3) over third baseman Juan Francisco's head and into left field.
With the score tied at 2, pinch-hitter Brad Hawpe started the winning rally with a one-out walk before advancing to third on Nick Hundley's hit-and-run single to right. Will Venable was intentionally walked to get to Jason Bartlett, who was hitting just .133. Bartlett grounded to third baseman Juan Francisco, who threw to home for the force.
That brought up Hudson for the one-pitch encounter.
Masset has a 9.95 ERA and three blown saves in five appearances. He's been scored on in four of his five appearances.
"He's throwing to one side of the plate," manager Dusty Baker said. "He's getting in full counts and counts where it's advantageous for them to hit and run, or steal. He's got to get ahead of them and try and bury them.
"He struggled like this last year," Baker said. "We really need him. His confidence is probably shot right now. We just have to rebuild it, like we did last year."
The Padres scored an unearned run without getting a hit in the eighth to tie it at 2. Hudson bunted straight to reliever Aroldis Chapman, who threw out Bartlett at third. Hudson then stole second and took third on catcher Ryan Hanigan's throw into center for Cincinnati's second error of the inning. He scored on Jorge Cantu's chopper to third.
Masset said he's keeping his head up and hoping to catch a break.
"The ball is not going my way right now. I'm just trying to do what I can to get people out."
The victory came less than 24 hours after the Padres had numerous chances Tuesday night before losing 8-2 in 11 innings. They had runners on second and third with none out in the eighth, then had the bases loaded in both the ninth and 10th.
Heath Bell (1-0) pitched the ninth for the win.
Reigning NL MVP Joey Votto had three hits for the Reds, including an RBI double.
San Diego's Tim Stauffer allowed only one hit through three innings before getting in trouble in the fourth and falling behind 1-0. Votto hit a leadoff single to left, advanced to third on Jonny Gomes' single to center and scored when Juan Francisco's grounder forced Gomes. Chris Heisey's double to left-center bounced over the fence, forcing Francisco to stop at third, and Ramon Hernandez was intentionally walked to load the bases before Stauffer retired the side.
The Reds made it 2-0 in the fifth when Votto doubled in Drew Stubbs, who hit a leadoff single to left and advanced on Brandon Phillips' grounder.
Wood struggled in the seventh, when he loaded the bases with one out by allowing singles to Chase Headley and Chris Denorfia, and walking Rob Johnson. Pinch-hitter Hundley hit a sacrifice fly to chase Wood. Jordan Smith came on and got the final out.
Wood allowed one run and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out five and walked three. Stauffer went 4 1-3, allowing two runs and six hits, with four strikeouts and two walks.
NOTES: San Diego manager Bud Black was ejected by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez as the top of the fourth inning ended for arguing balls and strikes. Black was yapping after Hernandez didn't call a strike on a 2-2 curveball to Wood. Hernandez did call a strike on the next pitch, then almost immediately ejected Black. Black came out and spoke with crew chief Joe West for a few minutes. Black, who had been yapping at Hernandez earlier in the game, was replaced by bench coach Rick Renteria. ... Heisey made two nice catches in RF for the Reds, including a diving catch of Denorfia's fly ball along the line for the first out of the ninth, and a sliding basket catch of Cameron Maybin's fly ball for the final out of the fifth.