CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Reds are a confusing baseball team.
One night, we love them, the next, we hate them, tonight was one of those as the offense continues to struggle, as it missed opportunities to cash in runs. Closer Aroldis Chapman gave up a home run to San Diego Padres’ third baseman Chase Headley in the top of the ninth, as the Reds fall to the lowly Padres 2-1 Tuesday night in the opener of their three-game series.
Chapman began the ninth inning of a 1-1 game and got the first two batters out on strikeouts in Seth Smith and Carlos Quentin. both on fastballs. Facing Headley with a 1-1 count, Chapman’s fastball was pulled toward the left-field corner inside the foul pole for the game-deciding homer.
It was Chapman’s second game back for, after he missed eight weeks upon being hit in the face by a line drive during Spring Training. On Sunday, he earned the save in his season debut vs. the Rockies.
Reds starter Mike Leake turned in another strong start with his third eight-inning performance of the season. Leake allowed only one run and two hits with one walk and five strikeouts, but he had to settle for a no-decision, keeping him winless over his last five starts.
The Reds scored first on Padres starter Andrew Cashner, when Billy Hamilton led off the bottom of the first with a triple to the left-field corner. Hamilton scored on the first of Brandon Phillips‘ three hits to make it 1-0.
Cashner did a nice job to keep the Reds from doing more damage the rest of the night. In the fourth inning, Todd Frazier led off with a double to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, but he was left stranded. In the sixth, Cincinnati had the bases loaded with one out before Chris Heisey grounded to Cashner for a fielder’s choice play at home. Zack Cozart followed with a soft popup to first base to end the inning.
San Diego evened the game in the fourth inning when Smith led off with a double to left field and eventually scored from third base on Jedd Gyorko‘s sacrifice fly to right field.
Leake went on to retire his final 14 of 15, but with 107 pitches, gave way to Chapman.
Tough loss, you don’t know what to expect from this team every time they’re out. With another one-run loss, the Reds have dropped to 6-12 in those games, by far the most in the majors.
Tomorrow, Johnny Cueto will be on the mound for the Reds, and with how the Padres’ offense has performed this season, expect Cueto to continue his outstanding start to the season, first pitch is at 7:10pn.