Reds, Padres split doubleheader
CINCINNATI – Held to three hits in the opener of a doubleheader, the Padres had a season-high three homers to gain a split and keep their momentum going.
Rene Rivera hit the first of San Diego’s three homers, and Tyson Ross allowed three hits in seven innings Thursday night, leading the Padres to a 6-1 victory and a day-night split with the Cincinnati Reds.
Johnny Cueto pitched a three-hitter for his second shutout in the opener, a 5-0 victory. San Diego did a turnabout in the second game, holding Cincinnati to three hits while getting nine of their own.
“The guys came out determined in the second game to put some at-bats together,” Padres manager Bud Black said.
The Padres won their first series on the road this season, taking two of three. They have won five of their last six games, their best stretch of the season.
Ross (5-3) walked five batters – including three in the first inning – and struck out eight including Joey Votto three times. Once he settled in after the first inning, the Reds got only one more runner to second base.
“In the first inning, the sinker was pretty good,” Rivera said. “It was nasty. It was a little down in the strike zone.
“We told Tyson to keep it closer to the strike zone.”
Rivera hit a two-run homer off left-hander Jeff Francis (0-1), who was called up to make his Reds debut. Francis gave up three runs in five innings.
Everth Cabrera and Yonder Alonso hit solo shots off the bullpen, their first homers of the season. Alonso, who went to San Diego as part of the trade for starter Mat Latos in 2011, also had an RBI single in his former ballpark.
“I played here a lot of years,” Alonso said. “Obviously it’s a special place. I know a lot of those guys. It’s fun, like playing back in the old days. I was reminiscing with a couple of those guys.”
In the opener, Cueto extended his season-opening streak of domination against a team that has been shut out more than any other in the majors – seven times.
San Diego came into the doubleheader last in the NL in batting average (.222) and runs (118). Cueto struck out eight, walked two and threw 116 pitches.
Cueto is the first Red to go at least seven innings in each of his first nine starts since Bucky Walters in 1944.