Friday, May 16, 2014
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Padres, Reds split day-night doubleheader

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[May 16, 2014]  CINCINNATI -- As San Diego Padres catcher Rene Rivera rounded the bases following his two-run home run in the second inning Thursday, he grinned ear-to-ear. His teammates were jovial in the dugout because it was only Rivera's second homer this season. It would end up providing the winning margin.

In addition to Rivera's blast, shortstop Everth Cabrera and first baseman Yonder Alonso added solo shots, and Tyson Ross allowed one run in seven innings, lifting San Diego to a 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the nightcap of a doubleheader Thursday night at Great American Ball Park.

In the first game of Thursday's twin-bill, right-hander Johnny Cueto pitched his third complete-game shutout of the season and second baseman Brandon Phillips clubbed a three-run home run in a 5-0 Reds' victory. Cueto allowed just three hits and struck out eight. Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy allowed five runs on 11 hits in six innings to earn the defeat.

"I like the way we bounced back," said Padres manager Bud Black. "The guys came out determined to put some good at-bats together in the second game. Hopefully more of this to come."

San Diego (20-22), which earned its first series victory on the road this season.

Ross (5-3) gave up one run on three hits with five walks and eight strikeouts over his 101 pitches. He held Cincinnati hitless for 4 2/3 innings.

"They got some good starting pitching in the first game with Johnny Cueto, but our guy was pretty good in the second game," said Black. "He had good life on his fastball. He made hitters uncomfortable."

Cincinnati (18-20) managed just three hits Thursday night and have lost five of eight.

"We have no answers right now," said Reds third baseman Todd Frazier. "It's frustrating. We know we should've won the series. We know we should've won the first game. We know we should've won tonight. We're better than this. It's just frustrating."

Reds starter Jeff Francis (0-1), who was recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day, allowed three runs and five hits in five innings. He issued no walks and struck out four.

"He pitched fine," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "We saw this game as an opportunity to hopefully get five from Francis and give some guys (in the bullpen) a chance to get in there. That's why this second game was important. It was important to win, which we didn't do, and important to rest a couple of guys and give some guys in the bullpen some work."

Ross issued five walks and allowed one run over 59 pitches through four innings, but he didn't give up a hit until left fielder Chris Heisey's two-out double in the fifth.

Francis, making his Reds debut, retired the first five batters he faced, including three strikeouts. However, Rivera's towering two-run homer, his second this season, put San Diego ahead 2-1 in the second.

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"I looked at the dugout and they were laughing," said Rivera. "I've been working hard. I'm just trying to put the bat on the ball. Our team is coming together."

Padres third baseman Chase Headley, who was batting .364 in his career against Francis, followed outfielder Chris Denorfia's double with a RBI single to make the score 3-1 in the third.

Reds right-hander Logan Ondrusek issued three walks in the sixth inning to load the bases, and Alonso delivered an RBI single off Sean Marshall to put San Diego ahead 4-1.

Cabrera's solo homer came on a 2-0 pitch from Marshall in the seventh to make the score 5-1. Alonso's solo shot in the eighth off Sam LeCure gave the Padres a 5-run advantage.

"You could tell the bullpen needed some work, they weren't crisp," said Price.

NOTES: Both teams were permitted to add a 26th man to the roster for Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader. The Padres recalled RHP Kevin Quackenbush from Triple-A El Paso, and the Reds recalled RHP Nick Christiani from Triple-A Louisville. .... Earlier Thursday, San Diego traded OF Kyle Blanks to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for OF Jake Goebbert and a player to be named and/or cash. Blanks was optioned to Triple-A El Paso on Tuesday. ... Prior to Game 1, the Reds optioned Christiani to Louisville and selected the contract of LHP Jeff Francis from the Triple-A club. RHP Mat Latos (knee, elbow) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list so Francis could be added to the 40-man roster. The move will not impact Latos' projected return in early June. ... Reds 3B Todd Frazier hit safely in both ends of the doubleheader, extending his career-best hitting streak to 14 games.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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