Castillo fans seven but allows three home runs in Reds’ 6-2 loss to Padres
CINCINNATI (AP) — Francisco Mejia hit a solo homer and a three-run shot during his first start as the Padres’ up-and-coming catcher, leading San Diego to a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.
Mejia connected on his first two swings against Luis Castillo (8-12) for his first homers in the majors . The 22-year-old catcher was called up Tuesday as the Padres get him ready for a bigger role next season.
They got Cleveland’s top catching prospect in a July trade for relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber, part of the AL Central leaders’ move to improve their struggling bullpen. Mejia hit seven homers at Triple-A after the trade, prompting his September call-up.
Hunter Renfroe also hit a solo homer off Castillo , who gave up three for the first time in his career.
Left-hander Eric Lauer made his second straight solid start since returning from a stint on the disabled list with a sore forearm that cost him 25 days. He threw five hitless innings during a 3-2, 13-inning win over Colorado on Aug. 30 in his return.
Lauer allowed two hits in four innings Thursday, matching his career high with eight strikeouts. He escaped a bases-loaded, no-out threat in the fourth with a pair of strikeouts and Renfroe’s lunging catch in left field. Padres manager Andy Green is limiting Lauer’s pitches as he returns from the injury.
Jose Castillo (2-2) retired the three batters he faced. Scott Schebler and Mason Williams homered off Trey Wingenter in the seventh.
The Reds held a moment of silence pregame for victims of a downtown shooting on Thursday morning. A gunman killed three people and wounded two others before he was fatally shot by police officers.
"Tonight, we come together as baseball fans and as citizens of this city we love so dearly to show our strength as a community in the face of adversity."
A moment of silence was held at Great American Ball Park to honor all those affected by today's tragedy in Cincinnati. pic.twitter.com/MKsiEyjq91
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) September 6, 2018
Reds: Scooter Gennett was out of the lineup with a tender thigh. He leads the NL in hitting at .320. … LH reliever Amir Garret threw in the bullpen and could be activated next week. He’s been on the DL since Aug. 29 with a bruised left foot.
Padres: Brett Kennedy (1-2) makes his sixth career start and his first against the Reds. He threw six shutout innings on Aug. 31 for a 7-0 victory over Colorado, his first career win.
Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (7-4) makes his 17th start and third career appearance against the Padres, his first since 2016. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings last Sunday in St. Louis, giving up two runs and five hits while throwing 72 pitches.
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