Wednesday, July 02, 2014
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Padres' offense awakens in rout of Reds

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[July 02, 2014]  SAN DIEGO -- A day after finishing one of the more inoffensive months in major league history, the San Diego Padres erupted for a season-high 16 hits Tuesday night.

The result of the offensive explosion was an 8-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Petco Park.

The Padres hit .171 in June, the lowest monthly batting average for a major league team since the dead-ball era of 1920. San Diego averaged 2.2 runs a game last month.

On Tuesday, though, they worked over Reds starter Mike Leake and four relievers to record a third consecutive win.

Padres right fielder Seth Smith opened the game with his ninth homer, and he finished with three hits.

Left fielder Carlos Quentin drove in three runs with a 416-foot homer and a sacrifice fly.

All 11 Padres who took a cut got a hit. In addition to Smith's three hits, Quentin, catcher Yasmani Grandal and shortstop Alexi Amarista each had two hits. All four also had doubles to go with the homers by Smith and Quentin.

"I thought we had good at-bats all night from a number of guys,"

Padres manager Bud Black said. "It takes a number of games and at-bats to get momentum, it doesn't turn on one night, but this was a good sign. When good things happen, guys loosen up."
 


The beneficiary of Tuesday's breakout was Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy, who halted a personal three-decision losing streak. Kennedy, who also had a run-scoring single, allowed one run on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts over six innings.

"Starting off with that home run by Smith was awesome," said Kennedy (6-9).

Reds manager Bryan Price said of Leake, "Mike certainly made a mistake to Smith to lead off the game, but I think you need to give them some credit.

"I know they have not been a robust offense to this point so far this year, but they did some good things by battling and putting some balls in play with two strikes. When we made a mistake, they were able to find some grass in the outfield."

The assault began with the game's first hitter as Smith snapped a

0-for-17 drought with a home run on an 0-2 pitch against Leake. The home run travelled 394 feet and was the Padres' first home run since Tommy Medica connected in San Francisco seven games ago.

The Padres made it 2-0 in the second as Kennedy joined the attack.

With two outs, Amarista, second baseman Irving Falu and Kennedy hit consecutive singles to produce a run.

The Reds halved the deficit in the fifth. Shortstop Zack Cozart opened the inning with a single, moved to second on Leake's sacrifice bunt and to third on center fielder Billy Hamilton's groundout to short. Third baseman Todd Frazier drove Cozart home with a single to center.

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The Padres regained their two-run margin in the bottom of the inning.

Smith opened with a double to the base of the wall in right and scored on Chase Headley's single past Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips.

Leake, a native of San Diego County, allowed three runs on 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Quentin's fourth homer of the season -- a shot deep into the second balcony of the Western Metal Supply Building -- capped a four-run seventh.

"That was loud and far," Smith said of Quentin's homer.

Quentin drove in the Padres final run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

The game ended on an odd note -- a walk-off challenge.

The Reds scored once in the ninth on catcher Devin Mesoraco's 15th homer, and they loaded the bases with two outs against new father Tim Stauffer. Pinch hitter Ryan Ludwick hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Chase Headley, who threw to second for a force on Frazier.

Second base umpire Chad Fairchild ruled Frazier beat the throw and was safe. However, Black appealed and the replay review showed Frazier was out -- ending the game.

NOTES: Padres 2B Jedd Gyorko, out since June 5 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, said he felt no pain Tuesday after the cast and protective boot were removed. ... San Diego SS Everth Cabrera was a late scratch from the lineup with a left hamstring strain that could land him on the disabled list. ... Reds INF Jack Hannahan, out since the start of the season with a right shoulder injury, has started a throwing program. ... Reds manager Bryan Price, who is working with a four-man bench, said RHP Mike Leake could be pressed into service if the Reds need an additional pinch hitter in an extra-inning game.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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