The Cincinnati Reds scored three in the ninth and had an opportunity for more, but their rally fell well short as San Diego held on to win 11-6 on Tuesday at Petco Park.
Rookie Colin Rea (1-0) won his MLB debut while Michael Lorenzen (3-8) continued his struggles. Lorenzen had the worst start of his career lasting just 1.1 innings while allowing seven runs on seven hits before giving way to Dylan Axelrod in the second.
The Reds (49-62) had a chance to rattle the rookie starter when the first two base runners reached. Rea was able to settle in and got a big double play ball from Joey Votto and got Todd Frazier to strand Brandon Phillips at third.
San Diego (54-60) didn’t miss its mark as Lorenzen walked two and gave up a single to load the bases. Jedd Gyorko unclogged the base paths with a two run single. Austin Hedges followed two batters later with an RBI single and it was quickly 3-0 Padres.
Rea helped his own cause with his first career hit which was followed by a Yangervis Solarte double. Former Reds prospect Yonder Alonso doubled home both runners and came home to score on a Justin Upton double to end the day for Lorenzen. Axelrod came on to face Gyorko who promptly homered in two more runs to make it an 8-0 onslaught.
Axelrod didn’t get any help in the third inning with two outs and the bases loaded, as Frazier was tied up by a ground ball the went under his glove. That scored two runs, but another error on the play by Ivan De Jesus Jr. allowed a third run to come in and cap the Padres scoring. Axelrod, along with Burke Badenhop, and Manny Parra would manage to keep San Diego off the scoreboard and allow the Reds a chance at getting back into the game.
They finally got to Rea in the fouth inning when Votto and Frazier hit back-to-back doubles to get on the board 11-1. Tucker Barnhart doubled and then Billy Hamilton singled him home for another run in the fifth while Hamilton scored on a sac fly by Skip Schumaker to cut the lead down to 11-3.
Odrisamer Despaigne and Bud Norris relieved Rea and tossed scoreless relief before giving way to Frank Garces in the ninth who did not fare as well. Garces was greeted by Frazier who launched a deep fly ball into the left field stands. With two outs Barnhart kept the game alive with a single and then Jason Bourgeois hit a pinch hit homer to draw the Reds to within five.
Garces long inning continued when Hamilton reached on an error and then Phillips walked. He finally ended the game by getting Schumaker to bounce out for the 11-6 final.
The San Diego victory helped make history as all 15 home teams won their games on Tuesday. It will be up to Raisel Iglesias (2-4, 4.73 ERA) to prevent the sweep, but he’ll have to do it against James Shields (8-4, 3.75 ERA). First pitch is set for 3:40 p.m. After the game, the Reds will head up the coast to Los Angeles for a four game set with the Dodgers.