Homer Bailey’s only victory in the last 6 1/2 weeks is his no-hitter, which made it much easier on the recently anemic Cincinnati Reds’ offense to provide adequate run support.
That hasn’t been the case during a five-game losing streak.
Cincinnati’s struggling lineup seeks to bust out of its slump as Bailey takes the mound against the host San Diego Padres on Wednesday afternoon looking to avoid dropping a fifth straight start.
Bailey (5-10, 3.77 ERA) tossed his second career no-hitter in a 3-0 win over San Francisco on July 2, but he’s lost each of his four starts since while posting a 4.68 ERA.
The right-hander is 1-6 with a 4.25 ERA over his last eight outings, but he has a dismal 1.87 run-support average in that stretch and received more than two runs of help for the only time during his gem versus the Giants.
Bailey gave up two runs in seven innings Friday but fell 2-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“We haven’t been scoring much for Homer,” manager Dusty Baker said. “You hate to keep saying it, but if he keeps pitching like that, we’ll get him a victory and us a victory.”
Cincinnati hasn’t had much trouble scoring against the Padres with Bailey on the mound, though. He’s 4-0 with a 4.30 ERA in seven career starts versus San Diego while boasting a 9.82 run-support average.
The Reds (59-49) hope that trend continues after falling 4-2 on Tuesday. They’ve scored five runs during their skid and are on the verge of being swept by the Padres for the first time since May 15-17, 2009.
Brandon Phillips went 0 for 3 and is hitting .135 over his last 10 games.
“We get runners on and we can’t push them over or across,” Baker said. “We get runners on late, but can’t move them. It’s just another tough one to lose. We didn’t play really good. We made some mistakes.
“The club is down. We need a victory.”
San Diego (50-58), meanwhile, has won four straight after Nick Hundley hit a two-run double with two outs in the eighth, one night after former Red Chris Denorfia crushed a two-run homer for a walkoff 2-1 victory.
Will Venable went 3 for 3 with an RBI on Tuesday and is hitting .458 over his last eight.
“We got a couple of big swings early and then the real big one late from Nick,” manager Bud Black said. “That’s what it comes down to, a very clutch hit late in the game.”
The Padres will look to provide more offense for starter Eric Stults, who has received two or fewer runs of support in 17 of his 22 starts.
Neither Stults (8-9, 3.65) or the lineup performed well Friday, though, as he allowed a career-worst seven runs – five earned – and 11 hits in five innings of a 10-0 loss at Arizona.
“I didn’t give us a chance to win from the start,” Stults said. “The first inning to give them the two runs, then in the second inning to not come out and give us a shut-down inning, that was tough.”
The left-hander hasn’t started against the Reds since 2008 while with the Dodgers, but he had a 3.86 ERA in three relief appearances versus Cincinnati last season.