Mejía’s blasts Lift Padres to 6-2 Win
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.
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.
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.