Reds 4, Padres 1

Homer Bailey gave the struggling Cincinnati Reds exactly what
they needed.

The right-hander came within two outs of a five-hit shutout to
end his four-start losing streak and the Reds beat the San Diego
Padres 4-1 Wednesday to snap a five-game skid.

Brandon Phillips homered and Joey Votto hit a two-run double for
the Reds, who avoided a three-game sweep and ended San Diego’s
four-game winning streak.

”Before the game I said the law of averages were on our side to
win on the road, and for Homer to win,” manager Dusty Baker said.
”It’s been a long time since he’s won. There were some big hits
that we got today that we have been missing the past few days.

”It’s great to have a great flight home, have a great day off
and sort of take it easy and lick our wounds, so to speak, and get
back at it again,” Baker said.

The performance by Bailey was just what the Reds needed to end a
10-game West Coast trip on a positive note. Not only had the Reds
lost five straight after winning the first four games of the trip,
but Bailey hadn’t won since throwing the second no-hitter of his
career July 2 at home against San Francisco. Three of his four
losses since then had come on the road.

Bailey had allowed just five singles going into the ninth, when
Everth Cabrera reached on a fielding error by first baseman Votto
leading off the inning. He got Chris Denorfia to fly out before
Chase Headley doubled in Cabrera. Baker pulled Bailey, and Aroldis
Chapman got the final two outs for his 25th save in 29 chances.

”It’s good to get a win,” Bailey said. ”We didn’t want to
come in here and get swept. We’ve been playing and pitching really
well; just trying to go out there and end this trip on a good
note.”

Bailey said he felt fine going into the ninth.

”I cooled down a little bit when they changed pitchers. I
definitely wished I could have finished that one,” Bailey said.
”But you got a pretty good closer coming in behind me.”

Bailey (6-10) allowed six hits and one unearned run, struck out
seven and walked none.

Baker said Bailey had good command and ”a good tempo that helps
our team stay sharp behind him. Sheer determination. Homer really,
really wanted it bad because he knew we needed it and he needed it.
That was big for us.”

Manager Bud Black said the Padres ”just couldn’t seem to square
the fastball up” against Bailey. ”He had good movement, pitched
well. He’s got that capability. He’s got a good arm.”

Headley agreed.

”He always has good velocity but I thought his fastball today
had even a little bit more life than it usually does,” Headley
said. ”The pitches you felt like you got to hit, a lot of times
you were fouling off because it had such good life, and then he
threw his good stuff at you. He made a pitch or threw a good slider
on you and you were in trouble. He’s one of those guys when he’s
able to locate his pitches and throw pretty much everything he has
for strikes, it’s going to be a tough day. There are some times
when you’ve got to tip your cap and he was pretty good
tonight.”

Phillips homered to center field off lefty Eric Stults (8-10)
leading off the second, his 13th.

The Reds added three more runs in the seventh, all unearned
because of third baseman Headley’s throwing error on Derrick
Robinson’s grounder. The error put runners on first and third, and
Chris Heisey singled to left to score Zack Cosart, aboard on a
leadoff single. Votto followed with a double to right to bring in
Robinson and Heisey.

The Reds are off Thursday before opening an eight-game
homestand.

”This off day is going to be really big for us,” Bailey said.
”Especially after a long trip, different time zones. We started
off really well. We just couldn’t quite seem to squeeze out those
wins in L.A., and even here, for a couple of days. It feels good to
end it on a good note. You always like traveling after a win.”

Stults allowed four runs, one earned, on 10 hits in 6 2-3
innings. He struck out five and walked none.

NOTES: On Friday, the Reds play the first of three games against
the NL Central rival St. Louis Cardinals. RHP Bronson Arroyo (9-8,
3.26 ERA) is scheduled to start against RHP Shelby Miller (10-7,
2.79). … The Padres are off Thursday before welcoming the New
York Yankees to Petco Park for the first time. Scheduled starters
are LHP CC Sabathia (9-9, 4.65) against RHP Andrew Cashner (7-5,
3.88)….Sunday’s Padres starter will be RHP Ian Kennedy, acquired
from the Arizona Diamondbacks before Wednesday’s deadline for lefty
reliever Joe Thatcher, a minor leaguer and a 2014 draft pick.