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Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Summertime in San Diego dooms Cincinnati Reds


In the month of July, the Cincinnati Reds remain winless after suffering an 8-2 defeat at the hands of the San Diego Padres.

Normally, the “turning of the calendar,” is a figure of speech that allows teams to take negative experiences and put them in the past. (i.e.: the Reds’ meltdown against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 20) Yet, the Padres took it literally. After having the lowest batting average of a single team in a month in 100 years, the Padres ripped 16 hits on Tuesday. Take all of what you know about baseball and throw it out the window.

What stands as concrete fact is that the Reds were bludgeoned in the second game of the series. Mike Leake’s 11 hits allowed were the most by a Reds starting pitcher this season. Needless to say, the 16 hits for San Diego was a season-high.

As scorching as the San Diego bats were, the Redlegs could not keep pace. Still managing 11 hits for themselves, the Reds presented themselves with a multitude of opportunities. On the night, the team would go 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position with 10 men left on base.

After winning on Monday night with just a single run and a hit, it did not take long for the Padres to duplicate that number Tuesday. Seth Smith wasted no time getting San Diego on the board with a gargantuan shot that not even Petco Park could hold.

Things would not go any smoother for Leake in the second inning, who would allow a run on three consecutive singles from the trio of Alexi Amarista, Irving Falu and Ian Kennedy. The hit from Falu would be his first of the season, and Kennedy’s base knock was of the RBI variety.

Cutting the lead in half in the fifth, Todd Frazier brought home Zack Cozart, one of the three members of the Reds’ lineup to have a multi-hit game. After Frazier’s 13th stolen base of the year, and a Joey Votto walk, Brandon Phillips had an opportunity to tie the game with a base hit, but grounded into a force out that would the Reds’ final legitimate threat.

Having batted all of .171 in the month of June, San Diego had at least one hit in each inning Tuesday evening. Leake could not even finish the sixth inning and make himself eligible for a quality start.

The now not-so-used middle relief core attempted to keep the deficit at just two runs as they stood and stretched inside Petco Park. In an inning that contained a double error on first baseman Joey Votto, and Carlos Quentin hitting a ball off a factory in left field, there would be no containment.

Over his last 12 appearances, Logan Ondrusek featured an ERA just north of one. On Tuesday, he would record just a single out while allowing four runs (three of which were earned) and virtually letting the exhausted folks on the home front hit get some sleep.

It got ugly quickly in possible the country’s most pristine city. There was a Joey Votto double error in the seventh, a two-run home run from Carlos Quentin, and then a wild pitch followed by a balk from Carlos Contreras in the eighth.

Trailing 8-1 heading to the top of the ninth inning with a day game on the docket for Wednesday, no one would have blamed the Reds had they taken some quick hacks and gotten back into the locker room. As it has been shown over the past few seasons, this Cincinnati club takes nothing on the field lightly.

Devin Mesoraco played lift-off with his 15th home run of the year, a majestic shot to deep center field that went beyond the leaping grasp of Cameron Maybin. The club would lash out four hits in the final frame (two of which were extra-base hits; their only two of the night) and put the tying-run in the hole.

Almost fittingly, the game would end via instant replay. On a close force play at second base, the umpires overturned the nearly impossible to tell call after just under three minutes of review. How a call can be changed after staring at it for 150 seconds beats me, but that is how the Redlegs went down on Tuesday.

With a Wednesday afternoon matinee being the only thing standing between the Redlegs and a jet ride home, there must be a sense of relief. Even with a loss, the club will have gone 6-4 on this 10-game road trip.

Johnny Cueto gets the ball at 3:40 p.m. opposite Tyson Ross. Having already lost four of the first five matchups with the Padres, the Reds are just looking to get out of dodge with a single win.

Tags: Cincinnati Reds

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