San Diego Padres starter Clayton Richard will try to convert his recent wave of momentum into his first career win against the Cincinnati Reds this evening as the two clubs play the third contest of a four-game series.
Richard has won four of his past five starts and has pitched to a 1.70 earned run average over that time. He has logged at least seven innings in four of those outings, including Monday in Arizona as he fell one out shy of notching his third career complete game.
The left-hander was pulled after allowing a pair of two-out singles and yielded two runs on eight hits and a walk in his longest outing of the season.
"[Richard] was smelling the finish line, no doubt about that, and I want him desperately to get it because he works his butt off in-between starts," Padres manager Bud Black told his club's website. "He wants to do that. I look at where he is in innings pitched in the National League and he's up there with the big boys."
Richard, who has hurled 113 2/3 innings so far this season, is 6-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 17 outings. The 28-year-old hopes to best the Reds for the first time as he is 0-1 with a 5.57 ERA in four previous encounters.
Homer Bailey, meanwhile, looks to remain perfect versus the Padres as he draws the start tonight for the Reds. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.48 ERA in five career meetings.
Bailey rebounded from two straight defeats -- a span in which he allowed eight earned runs -- by holding the Dodgers to a pair of runs on five hits and a walk in eight innings of work. The 26-year-old was still throwing gas at the end of his outing and struck out seven.
"I was able to stay loose tonight," said Bailey, who reached 97 mph in the eighth inning. "My fastball and curveball were working early and then things slowly came together."
Bailey evened his season record to 6-6 with the win to go along with a 4.24 ERA. He is 5-2 with a 2.96 ERA in eight road outings this year.
Bailey will take the mound one day after teammate Bronson Arroyo threw a gem to hand the Padres a 6-0 defeat. The 35-year-old righty hurled his first shutout of the season, scattering four baserunners on three singles and a walk. He also fanned eight as Cincinnati halted a three-game slide.
"Tonight was another good pitching performance by Arroyo," Black said of the opposing pitcher. "It was a variation of speeds on his breaking balls and the fastball just got us. We couldn't barrel anything up."
Ryan Hanigan and Todd Frazier ripped two-run home runs, Zack Cozart blasted a solo shot and Joey Votto contributed an RBI double in the victory.
Kip Wells allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts over six-plus innings to absorb the loss.
Chase Headley, Will Venable and Yasmani Grandal each had a hit for the Padres, who saw their six-game winning streak come to an end.
San Diego and Cincinnati are meeting for the first time since the Reds won four of six matchups a season ago.