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Finnegan, Reds too much for Padres

July 29, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- The Reds' pitching staff has certainly struggled with the long ball this season, but evidently they're the only group of pitchers capable of keeping the Padres in the yard these days.The Cincinnati offense struck early and often Friday night, scoring four times in the first, en route

SAN DIEGO -- The Reds' pitching staff has certainly struggled with the long ball this season, but evidently they're the only group of pitchers capable of keeping the Padres in the yard these days.
The Cincinnati offense struck early and often Friday night, scoring four times in the first, en route to a 6-0 victory at Petco Park, which snapped the Padres' 25-game home-run streak.
Eugenio Suárez delivered the first inning's big blow, a two-run double, and he'd later add a two-run single for a career-high-tying four RBIs. Zack Cozart, Adam Duvall and Brandon Phillips also had two hits apiece.
That was plenty of offense for Reds starter Brandon Finnegan, who did not allow a run over six innings in the first scoreless start of his career. He struck out five and allowed only four hits, as the Reds recorded their third shutout of the season -- and their second against San Diego.

"Tonight was a good night," said Finnegan, who notched his first quality start since June 25, also vs. the Padres. "I threw strikes. I threw a changeup well. That was the key to everything. I was just throwing the fastball and slider the last few games, and it's not too hard to hit that. It's a starter just throwing two pitches. Things went well. We got some big outs."
The Reds also blanked the Padres on June 26 -- the last time San Diego was held without a home run. The 25-game streak tied a National League record, but the Reds -- who have allowed more home runs than anyone else in the Majors -- stifled the Friars on Friday. Wil Myers' third-inning double was the closest they'd come.
"It was an incredible feat for us; that's something I've never been a part of," Myers said. "To be here for that was pretty special. ... Tied an NL record -- that's pretty cool." More >
Turn two: Aiding Finnegan during his start was his inducing of three double plays. He had runners on first and second base with one out when he got Christian Bethancourt to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. And in a four-pitch bottom of the fifth after Adam Rosales' leadoff single, Finnegan picked up José Rondón's sharply-hit grounder to shortstop, where Cozart turned the double play. A fourth Padres double play came in the eighth to end the inning for reliever Michael Lorenzen.
"He really had to battle," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Finnegan. "He had a couple innings where the outs kind of came quick and easy and others where the Padres really pushed him. What really bailed him out was the double play ball. He got some really timely double plays and couple of them on well-hit balls we were able to turn and stay away from potentially a big inning that would allow the Padres to get back in the game."
Down goes Dickerson: The Padres lost a key offensive contributor before they even came to the plate Friday night. Left fielder Alex Dickerson exited the game with a hip contusion in the top of the first, after he collided with center fielder Travis Jankowski while tracking a deep fly ball. Dickerson had homered in four straight games entering Friday, a Padres rookie record. The fly ball would drop in for triple by Cozart, sparking the Reds' four-run first.
"He's going to be sore tomorrow," said Padres manager Andy Green. "No break, no fracture. He's just kind of banged up on that. He landed pretty hard. If you saw the replay, you know how hard he hit." More >

 Phillips extends streak: Phillips' RBI single in the top of the first inning not only gave Cincinnati a 2-0 lead, it extended his hitting streak to 16 games. It's the longest hit streak by a Reds batter since Shin-Soo Choo's 16-game streak from July 2-22, 2013. No Reds player has had a hitting streak longer than 16 games since Phillips' career-high 22-game streak from April 26-May 20, 2007.

No win for Edwin: Padres starter Edwin Jackson was hit hard in the first, but settled into a bit of a groove after that, tossing three scoreless frames before allowing two runs in the fifth. He finished having allowed six runs on 10 hits over five innings, and took responsibility for his poor command in the early going.
"The first inning came down to execution of a couple pitches," Jackson said. "... I was able to calm down after that and make some pitches after that. Essentially you take away a couple pitches out of the first inning, it's a whole different ballgame."
"We've had good opportunities, good at-bats. The bullpen guys and starting pitching are doing a really good job. We feel more comfortable because we're playing great right now." -- Suarez, on the Reds after they won nine of their last 13 games
In the top of the sixth inning, Billy Hamilton stole second base, his 35th steal of the season. Hamilton, who stole 57 and 56 bases the last two seasons, is the first Reds player with at least 35 steals in three consecutive seasons since Ryan Freel from 2004-06.

Reds:Anthony DeSclafani (6-0, 3.09 ERA) will take his unbeaten record into Saturday's 8:40 p.m. ET game when the series continues at Petco Park. DeSclafani pitched eight shutout innings vs. the Padres in a 3-0 win on June 26 at Great American Ball Park.
Padres:Christian Friedrich takes the hill for the Padres with first pitch slated for 5:40 p.m. PT. The 29-year-old left-hander has struggled mightily of late after getting off to a great start to his Padres tenure. He's allowed at least four runs in six of his last seven games, in which the Padres are just 2-5.
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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05.

[AJ Cassavell](mailto:[email protected]) covers the Padres for