Time To Relax
CINCINNATI — Maybe Reds manager Dusty Baker can get some rest now.
Ramon Hernandez hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning and Cincinnati rallied to end the San Diego Padres’ eight-game winning streak with a 5-4 victory on Sunday.
The Padres put runners on first and third with two out in the ninth but Francisco Cordero got former Reds utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. to fly out to center to end the game.
Jay Bruce had three hits and Scott Rolen hit his fifth homer for Cincinnati, which managed only four runs in the first two games of the series. Seven of the Reds’ eight wins have come in their last at-bat.
Baker ripped into his players for their sloppy play after Saturday’s 5-0 loss to the Padres. Cincinnati committed two more baserunning blunders in the series finale but Baker wasn’t about to complain after this victory.
“We needed that badly,” said Baker, who was so angry on Saturday that he decided to skip his normal postgame meeting with the media. “You figured the law of averages was on our side. We couldn’t keep losing, and they couldn’t keep winning — plus I wanted to meet with you guys.”
Hernandez said the team likes Baker’s fire and competitiveness.
“You all know he’s a gamer, and we try to play as hard as we can for him,” Hernandez said. “We just want to get some wins so he can get some sleep.”
Mike Adams (0-1) inherited a 4-3 lead in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Rolen, who had two hits and scored three times. Bruce followed with a double into the right-field corner.
Rolen stopped at third until first baseman Adrian Gonzalez let Will Venable’s throw get away from him, allowing Rolen to score the tying run and Bruce to move to third. Venable was charged with an error.
Hernandez then lined a single into right to give Cincinnati a 5-4 lead.
Arthur Rhodes (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth inning for the victory. Cordero earned his seventh save in eight tries.
“We got it down to the last swing,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “Jerry hit it on the nose, but it hung up a little bit.”
Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer off Homer Bailey in the fourth to give the Padres a 2-0 lead. Gonzalez, who drove a 1-1 pitch into the right-field seats, has connected in each of San Diego’s last four games. He has six homers in his last seven games at Great American Ball Park, dating to last season.
It also was Gonzalez’s 136th homer with the Padres, snapping a tie with Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn for fourth place on the franchise’s career list. Hall of Famer Dave Winfield is third with 154.
Bailey tied a career high with eight strikeouts in six innings, yielding four runs and seven hits.
The Reds tied it with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth. Rolen reached on a walk and Jonny Gomes, Bruce and Hernandez followed with singles. Rolen scored on Bruce’s hit and Gomes came home on Hernandez’s base hit to center.
Hernandez was trapped between first and second and tagged out to end the inning before Bruce could score the go-ahead run.
Hernandez was the second Reds player in two innings and fifth in the last two games to be caught on the basepaths. Drew Stubbs was caught stealing, Richard to first baseman Gonzalez to Hairston in the third.
“You don’t mind those when you win,” Baker said.
Clayton Richard gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings for San Diego.
Most of the game was played in a steady drizzle that started in the fourth inning.
Both teams scored again in the sixth. Kyle Blanks had a tiebreaking two-run double for the Padres and Rolen hit a leadoff drive in the bottom half.
NOTES: Padres SS Everth Cabrera, who left Saturday’s game after getting hit by a pitch on his left knee, was replaced by Hairston in Sunday’s lineup. Manager Bud Black said Cabrera was day to day. Cabrera pinch ran in the ninth. … Reds RHP Johnny Cueto was given an extra day between starts because of soreness in his side, manager Dusty Baker said. Cueto pitched six innings in Saturday’s 5-0 loss. … Reds SS Orlando Cabrera returned to the lineup after missing Saturday’s game with soreness in his legs.