Tyson Ross threw a three-hit complete game shutout to send the Cincinnati Reds back home without a win in San Diego as the Reds could only muster two runs in the series.
Ross (7-8) was masterful once again against the Reds (43-41) as he benefited from three early runs off Johnny Cueto (8-6). In his two starts against Cincinnati he's pitched 16 innings while allowing just one run on six hits with 17 strikeouts. Ross' two wins against the Reds helped San Diego (38-47) claim the season series with Cincinnati as they went 5-1.The Padres' pitching staff has brought the worst out in the Reds offense this season allowing just nine runs in those six games.
On Monday, Mat Latos (1-1) was stellar as he and Sam LeCure combined to allow just one hit, but the Padres didn't even need a hit to score their only run. Tommy Medica walked, stole second, then moved to third on a fly ball, then scored on a sacrifice fly. Jesse Hahn (4-1) continued to stay hot the first month of his big league career by allowing three hits in five innings with nine strikeouts. Hahn finished second behind Billy Hamilton for NL Rookie of the Month honors in June.
Tuesday found the Reds behind right off the bat when Mike Leake (6-7) allowed a leadoff home run to Seth Smith. Ian Kennedy (6-9) helped his own cause with an RBI single in the second before he allowed the Reds to score their first run of the series on a Todd Frazier single. Leake kept it close before he left in the sixth, but Logan Ondrusek allowed four more runs to score in the seventh and then Carlos Contreras allowed another in the eighth. Devin Mesoraco hit a meaningless solo homer in the ninth to send the Reds home losers 8-2.
In the series finale, Cueto's damage was limited to just one swing of the bat, but it came with the bases loaded in the first inning. After walking Medica, Rene Rivera hit a fly ball to right center and Hamilton made a diving effort, but could not bring in the catch. With two outs everyone was running on contact and the Padres were able to clear the bases on only a single by Rivera.
After a sweep of the first place Giants, the sweep at the hands of the Padres left a sour taste in the Reds mouth as they end the ten game road trip with a 6-4 record. The loss also sends the Reds into fourth place as the Pirates (44-40) went 7-2 during the Reds road trip to claim third place, while the Cardinals(45-40) are just a half game ahead of them for second place. Milwaukee (51-35) still hold the best record in the National Leauge, but were just swept by the Blue Jays to cut the Cardinals deficit 5.5 games.
Cincinnati will have a chance to help all the NL Central contenders when the Brewers come to Great American Ballpark for the Fourth of July weekend. The Reds then host the Cubs and Pirates to finish out the first half of the season.