Red-hot Eric Hosmer and the visiting San Diego Padres look to extend their dominance of the Cincinnati Reds when they play the second game of a three-game series on Wednesday.
Hosmer homered, singled, drove in three runs and walked twice in the Padres’ 9-6 win over the Reds on Tuesday, raising his average to a National League-best .390.
Aside from Hosmer and Manny Machado, the Padres have struggled to find consistent offense this season with superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. sidelined due to a fractured left wrist. However, those struggles have been solved against Reds pitching.
San Diego has outscored Cincinnati 26-9 while winning all four matchups this season and has captured 10 of 11 meetings between the teams since the start of the 2021 season.
“We continue to win games, we’ve won series, and to do it without some offense — those are silver-lining-type things you look for,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “I try to look at it from a positive angle. We’re still winning some games without the offense, and I really believe it’s going to come.”
While the stellar fielding San Diego got to start the season hasn’t been there over the past two games, the Padres continue to get quality starts from their rotation.
Joe Musgrove, after his win in the Tuesday series opener, leads the Padres with four quality starts in as many outings. In all, Padres starters have posted a major-league-leading 10 quality starts, in which the pitcher goes at least six innings and allows three earned runs or fewer.
The last San Diego starter to open a season with as many as four consecutive quality starts was James Shields in 2015, the year before he was dealt to the Chicago White Sox for Tatis.
San Diego will send rookie MacKenzie Gore (1-0, 1.74 ERA) to the mound on Wednesday. The left-hander overpowered the Reds in the Padres’ 6-0 win on April 20 in his second career start. He struck out seven while walking two and allowing four hits in five shutout innings.
On the other hand, the Reds have struggled badly with their starting pitching, and they did again on Tuesday. Reiver Sanmartin could not retire any of the eight batters he faced in the fourth inning and wound up allowing nine runs in three-plus innings.
The Reds remain without a quality start in 2022. Right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez (0-3, 5.54 ERA) will try to end that streak when he makes his fourth start of the season.
Gutierrez yielded three runs on only two hits in 4 2/3 innings as he took the loss on April 20 against San Diego. He walked a season-high four batters and struck out two. Gutierrez is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in three career starts against San Diego.
Gore will be facing Cincinnati for the first time.
The Reds are skipping the start of rookie Hunter Greene, who labored through a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. Ace Luis Castillo (sore right shoulder) came out of his first rehab assignment start at high Class-A Dayton on Sunday reporting no issues. In 2 1/3 innings, he allowed one run, two hits and three walks with four strikeouts while throwing 48 pitches.
“It was what you’d expect. He was healthy,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I would anticipate two more (rehab starts) before we’d see him here.”
–Field Level Media