Padres-Reds Preview

Back on the winning track and with a deeper bullpen following

the trade deadline, the Cincinnati Reds appear primed for a strong

stretch run.

The Reds seek a second straight victory and 12th in 13 games

Wednesday night when they play the third of four against the

visiting San Diego Padres.

Jonathan Broxton is expected to be in uniform for this contest

after the Reds (62-41) acquired him from Kansas City on Tuesday for

two minor leaguers. Broxton has 107 career saves, including 23 in

27 chances this season for the Royals, but will fill a set-up role

in Cincinnati with Aroldis Chapman currently dominating as the

closer.

“It gives us another power arm in the bullpen,” manager Dusty

Baker said. “You can always use more pitching. You never know

what’s going to happen.”

The Padres (44-61) are all too familiar with Broxton, whose 17

saves – in 17 opportunities – against them while with the Los

Angeles Dodgers remain his most versus any opponent.

San Diego didn’t fare any better Tuesday against Chapman, who

retired the side in order in the ninth inning to convert his 14th

consecutive save chance in Cincinnati’s 7-6 victory. Ryan Ludwick

homered, singled and had four RBIs for the Reds, who bounced back

after having their 10-game winning streak snapped with an 11-5

defeat in Monday’s series opener.

The NL Central leaders finished July with a 19-7 record, and

improved to 12-3 while first baseman Joey Votto has been recovering

from knee surgery. Ludwick is batting .356 with five homers during

those 15 games.

“He’s got his swagger back,” Baker said. “He’s feeling it. You

need somebody hot in the middle of your lineup.”

Cincinnati is averaging exactly seven runs in its last four

games, and may have a good chance to keep the strong offense going

Wednesday with Kip Wells (2-3, 3.82 ERA) set to take the ball for

San Diego. The right-handed journeyman, who didn’t make it back to

the majors until June this season after the Reds released him in

April 2010, is 2-11 with a 4.95 ERA in his career versus

Cincinnati.

Wells didn’t pitch poorly against the Reds at home July 6,

yielding three runs in six-plus innings, but got charged with a 6-0

loss as Bronson Arroyo (6-6, 3.76) pitched a three-hitter.

Arroyo, who will oppose Wells again Wednesday, is now seeking

his first three-game winning streak since June 13-25, 2011. After

beating Milwaukee to notch his first home win of the season July

21, Arroyo scattered six hits and didn’t walk a batter over 6 2-3

innings of Friday’s 3-0 victory at Colorado.

The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in his last six

starts.

Wells is also coming off a solid outing, having allowed two runs

in six innings of a 7-2 win Friday at Miami.

Losers of three of four and well outside of the playoff race,

the Padres opted to stand pat at the trade deadline rather than

deal away any of their veteran talent.

“You get tired of hearing about it and you want to have

closure,” San Diego third baseman Chase Headley, who had been the

subject of trade rumors, told the team’s official website. “Now …

at least you know where you’re going to be.”

Headley has two hits and five walks through the first two games

of this series, but is 3 for 18 with six strikeouts and no walks

against Arroyo.