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Clutch hitting backs Wojo as Reds down Padres

August 9, 2017

CINCINNATI -- The Reds and Padres have exchanged big offensive outputs in the first three games of their four-game series. On Monday, Cincinnati scored 11 runs. On Tuesday, it was San Diego winning easily with seven. And on Wednesday, it was the Reds back on top with an 8-3 victory

CINCINNATI -- The Reds and Padres have exchanged big offensive outputs in the first three games of their four-game series. On Monday, Cincinnati scored 11 runs. On Tuesday, it was San Diego winning easily with seven. And on Wednesday, it was the Reds back on top with an 8-3 victory at Great American Ball Park.
Reds starter Asher Wojciechowski carried a shutout into the sixth inning before giving up a pair of home runs. Wojciechowski was rolling with a 6-0 lead until Manuel Margot led off with a homer to center field, his 10th of the season. With two outs, William Myers launched a two-run shot to right field to make it a three-run game. Wojciechowski finished with three earned runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings, with no walks and six strikeouts.
"He was spot on," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We got to the sixth, and he was right around his recent high in pitches, 75, and we wanted to get him through the sixth and take that thing to 85-90. They got to him in the sixth a little bit for a couple of homers. But when you look at the body of work, [Wojciechowski was] very sharp with a three-pitch mix, very good with the location of the fastball and a very good breaking ball that he kept down on the plate."

Former Reds pitcher Travis Wood did not fare as well, allowing six runs (five earned), seven hits and four walks over five innings, with seven strikeouts. It was the first rough outing for Wood since he joined the Padres at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. The two homers Wood allowed were frustrating, but the four walks were even more so, he said.
"One led to the other," Wood said. "Both are frustrating. The homers, the hitter's doing his job. The walks mean I didn't execute."

Cincinnati benefited from a few key two-out hits, especially from Jose Peraza, who hit a two-run single off Wood in the first inning and added an RBI single against Carter Capps for some insurance in the two-run bottom of the sixth.

Peraza finding stroke at plate
Eugenio Suarez hit one of the two homers Wood allowed, a two-run shot in the third inning. And in a game in which Price started several bench players, rookie catcher Stuart Turner tattooed his first big league homer with a two-run shot to left field on a 2-0 pitch in the fifth. According to Statcast™, Turner's homer had an exit velocity of 107 mph and traveled 434 feet.

"Turner absolutely killed that ball to left field. That was great," Price said. "The kid is in a tough spot. He doesn't get a lot of playing time. When he does get a chance to play, it's hard when you haven't seen good, live pitching for a week or two weeks or three weeks."
Peraza's hot bat: The Reds put together a two-out rally vs. Wood in the first inning, but it was Peraza who put them onto the scoreboard. Down in a 1-2 count, Peraza pushed the count full before lining a two-run single into center field for a 2-0 Reds lead. Peraza is batting .400 (16-for-40) with six walks over his past 13 games.

"I feel really good right now," Peraza said via translator Julio Morillo. "That's my focus right now, 100 percent, to take a really good at-bat. You're seeing the results right now."
More two-out damage: Wood had two outs in the third inning but couldn't put away the Reds again and paid for it. First, Adam Duvall sharply hit a double to left field, then Suarez got a hold of a 1-1 slider and lifted it into the left-field seats for his 19th homer of the season and a 4-0 lead. Suarez entered the game in a 1-for-13 skid over his previous five games but had a day off from Tuesday's lineup.

Margot is the Padres' first center fielder to hit 10 home runs in his rookie season. (The previous high was eight, set by Johnny Grubb and Stan Jefferson in 1973 and '87, respectively.) In doing so, he joined Hunter Renfroe as Padres rookie outfielders with double-digit dingers. Only one other team in franchise history has featured two rookies with 10-plus home runs: the '09 edition with Will Venable and Kyle Blanks.
Suarez led off with the fifth inning with a ground ball to third base. Cory Spangenberg fielded the ball, but his throw was offline and drew Wil Myers off the bag. Myers tried a sweep tag and Suarez was called out. The Reds challenged and the replay showed that Myers missed the tag and the call was overturned. Spangenberg was charged with an error that set up another Reds scoring opportunity.

It was Capps' second appearance since his Monday callup, and he endured a bit of bad luck, with four singles finding holes in a two-run sixth. But perhaps the greater issue is that he wasn't missing bats. In two outings, he has recorded just one swinging strike. After undergoing Tommy John surgery last March, his upper-90s fastball velocity hasn't returned. (He averaged 92.4 mph on Wednesday.) There's also less deception in Capps' delivery, which he tweaked upon his return this year.
Nonetheless, manager Andy Green was pleased with Capps' 19-4 strike-to-ball ratio Wednesday.
"I'm glad he's in the strike zone," Padres manager Andy Green said. "If Capps is in the strike zone, he's going to be successful. ... It's a step in the right direction from last time, even though the results at the end of the day don't look great."
Padres: Three starts ago, the Padres asked Dinelson Lamet to throw more sliders. That decision has paid huge dividends. The rookie right-hander has posted a 1.96 ERA in those outings. He takes the ball again Thursday at 9:35 a.m. PT for the series finale in Cincinnati.
Reds: Rookie Luis Castillo will get the ball for Cincinnati for the 12:35 p.m. ET series finale on Thursday. In an odd series of transactions, Castillo was with the Padres' organization for three days in 2016. After being dealt to San Diego in the seven-player swap that sent Andrew Cashner to the Marlins, Castillo was returned when Colin Rea suffered an elbow injury in his lone Marlins start. Castillo was swapped back for Rea just ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.