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Mahle's strong start gets plenty of support

Special to MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Tyler Mahle threw five scoreless innings, Scooter Gennett homered, Jose Peraza had three RBIs and Michael Lorenzen secured a lengthy save to give the Reds a 7-2 win in the opener of a three-game series against the Padres on Friday night at Petco Park.

And it appears center fielder Billy Hamilton avoided a serious injury after crashing into the wall in the ninth inning in pursuit of Freddy Galvis' triple.

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SAN DIEGO -- Tyler Mahle threw five scoreless innings, Scooter Gennett homered, Jose Peraza had three RBIs and Michael Lorenzen secured a lengthy save to give the Reds a 7-2 win in the opener of a three-game series against the Padres on Friday night at Petco Park.

And it appears center fielder Billy Hamilton avoided a serious injury after crashing into the wall in the ninth inning in pursuit of Freddy Galvis' triple.

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Mahle (4-6) had his best outing since his first one of the season on April 2. The 23-year-old right-hander gave up five hits and two walks and struck out five, snapping San Diego's three-game winning streak. A high pitch count (102) was about the only negative in his showing.

"I definitely made a lot of pitches, but I made big pitches in big situations,'' he said. "That was when I was able to locate my fastball."

Video: CIN@SD: Mahle gets Spangenberg swinging in the 4th

Lorenzen finished off the Padres by recording a four-inning save, for his first on the season.

With the Reds' rotation in flux, interim manager Jim Riggleman was asked if Lorenzen might get a start.

"We hadn't thought about that. That was where he ran into some injury issues in the past. But he could probably do anything, but we're not thinking about that right now."

Video: CIN@SD: Lorenzen retires Margot to earn 4-inning save

Peraza, who went 3-for-4, continues to be a pest deep in the lineup. He extended his hitting streak to five games, batting .476 (10-for-21) with a double and four RBIs over the stretch.

His breakout came on the heels of a 2-for-27 skid that included an 0-for-18 rut. But since, he's produced at least two hits in each of his previous four games and he last struck out on May 22 against the Pirates, a string of 46 plate appearances.

"We had lots of tough at-bats tonight and Jose had some of them,'' Riggleman said.

Video: CIN@SD: Peraza plates 2 with a double to center

Padres starter Walker Lockett (0-1), making his Majors debut, went 3 2/3 innings and allowed four runs, four hits and five walks.

The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the third with some old-school baseball. Instead of flexing their muscles, Cincinnati utilized the fleet feet of Hamilton.

Lockett walked Hamilton and he promptly stole second, securing his 10th bag on the year. Jesse Winker moved Hamilton to third with a groundout to the right side. When Tucker Barnhart followed suit with a groundout to Eric Hosmer, Hamilton completed his tour of the bases without a ball leaving the infield.

Video: CIN@SD: Hamilton scores on Barnhart's groundout

Cincinnati extended its lead to 4-0 with a three-run fourth inning. Eugenio Suarez led off the inning with a walk, and Scott Schebler followed with a single. Peraza hit a two-run double, scoring them both. Barnhart's RBI single pushed across the third run, ending Lockett's brief appearance with nine Reds reaching base against him.

In the fifth, Gennett squared up Robbie Erlin's 85 mph changeup, sending it just over the glove of a leaping Travis Jankowski in center field for his 11th home run and a 5-0 cushion.

Video: CIN@SD: Gennett launches a solo homer to center

The Reds got two runs (one earned) in the seventh, stretching their lead to 7-0. Peraza's third hit scored Gennett and when right fielder Hunter Renfroe uncorked an errant throw, Schebler came around, too.

HAMILTON TOUGHS IT OUT
Hamilton was on the dead run in tracking Galvis' shot with two outs in the ninth. Hamilton got a glove on the ball just as he made contact with the padded fence. He was momentarily stunned and he flipped the ball back in while still on the ground.

Video: CIN@SD: Hamilton shaken up after collision with wall

Hamilton, who was examined by the athletic trainer, remained in the game for the final out. He wasn't available after the game, but appears to be day to day.

"He is a tough kid,'' Riggleman said. "There's not a lot of meat on his bones, but he wanted to stay in there and that was what he did.''

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Game of Twister: Mahle was in a jam in the second with two on and two out when Glavis connected on a pitch at the bottom of the zone, sending a high arcing shot to right field. Schebler was playing shallow for the light-hitting shortstop and it looked as Glavis burned him. But Schebler quickly retreated, turned his body around a couple of times and made the difficult catch in the shadow of the fence to likely save two runs and keep the game scoreless.

"That was a key play in the game,'' Riggleman said.

Video: CIN@SD: Schebler makes an acrobatic grab in right

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Lorenzen's four-inning save was the first time a Reds pitcher had accomplished that since Elmer Dessens in an 11-5 win on June 24, 2000, also against the Padres, at Cinergy Field.

"The ball was coming out nice and easy,'' Lorenzen said. "The approach I'm taking is the bullpen is going to be used a lot, so I can't just go out there and throw gas. I don't need to throw as hard as I can to get outs.''

Riggleman said that's the best he's seen Lorenzen in some time. The way he was retiring the Padres, Riggleman had no qualms about letting him extend his outing.

"We know that it is in there, and we know he can do that,'' Riggleman said. "It was an impressive four innings and he did it somewhat effortlessly. The ball was coming out of his hand nice.''

Video: CIN@SD: Riggleman, Mahle on the victory over Padres

SOUND SMART
Reds scout Mike Misuraca came up to Mahle before the game with a prediction. Mahle and Lorenzen, two pitchers signed by Misuraca, were going to combine to beat the Padres.

"He told me I was going to pitch seven innings and Michael would throw the final two,'' Mahle said. "Instead I went five innings and he went four.'' That still added up to nine innings and a win for Mahle and a save for Lorenzen.

UP NEXT
Right-hander Matt Harvey will make his fifth appearance with the Reds on Saturday, facing the Padres at Petco Park at 8:40 p.m. ET. Since coming over from the Mets, Harvey has split his two decisions with Cincinnati, but the club has won three of his four starts. Harvey gave up four runs over 5 1/3 innings to the Rockies his last time out in a loss. The Padres will counter with rookie Eric Lauer.

Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego.

Cincinnati Reds, Scooter Gennett, Tyler Mahle