Padres get 3 hits off Cueto, lose to Reds 5-0
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ian Kennedy wasn’t very sharp on a cool afternoon with no margin for error.
Brandon Philips hit a three-run homer off Kennedy, and Johnny Cueto pitched a three-hitter for his second shutout of the season, leading the Cincinnati Reds over the Padres 5-0 Thursday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
The teams were making up their game rained out Wednesday night.
Cueto (4-2) lowered the majors’ best ERA to 1.25 and extended one of the best season-opening stretches in more than 100 years. He has three complete games and two shutouts in his first nine starts.
“It’s a continuation of what he’s been doing all season,” Padres manager Bud Black said.
Cueto is the first major league pitcher to go at least seven innings and allow two or fewer runs in each of his first nine starts since the Philadelphia Athletics’ Harry Krause in 1909, according to information provided the Reds by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Also, he is the first Reds pitcher to go at least seven innings in each of his first nine starts since Bucky Walters in 1944.
San Diego is last in the NL in batting average (.220) and runs (118). The Padres were blanked for the seventh time, the most in the majors. Cueto fanned eight, walked two and threw 116 pitches.
Phillips homered off Kennedy (2-5) and Zack Cozart singled home a pair of runs, part of a three-hit game for the shortstop.
Kennedy had been tough on the road and tough on the Reds throughout his career. The right-hander was 2-0 in his first three road games this season and had been 3-0 in four career starts against Cincinnati, holding the Reds to one earned run or less three times.
Kennedy had never started a day after his scheduled turn was rained out, and his pitches weren’t very good.
“I didn’t have my best curve, I didn’t have my best change-up or fastball command,” Kennedy said. “It felt like a battle from the start.
“I just didn’t have that stuff. One of those days, I guess.”
He repeatedly pitched out of trouble early on, forcing the Reds to strand four in scoring position during the first three innings.
The Reds got runners on first and third with two outs in the fifth. Cozart singled and Skip Schumaker fell behind in the count before getting a single with two outs to bring up Phillips, who connected for his third homer. In his last nine games, Phillips is 14 for 35 with seven doubles, two homers and five multihit games.
“It looked like he was in pretty good shape to get out of it in the fifth when he got two strikes on Schumaker,” Black said. “The way Cueto was pitching, ultimately those two at-bats were the ones that really got him.”
Cozart snapped an 0-for-15 streak with runners in scoring position when he singled home a pair of runs in the sixth. Kennedy gave up a season-high five runs and 11 hits in six innings.
San Diego’s Seth Smith singled, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier singled twice and extended his career-best streak to 13 games.
NOTES: The Padres acquired OF Jake Goebbert in a deal that sent utility player Kyle Blanks to Oakland. The Padres also will get another player to be determined or cash in the deal. Goebbert batted .257 with six homers and 25 RBIs for Triple-A Sacramento this season. He was assigned to Triple-A El Paso. Blanks played in five games with the Padres this season, going 2 for 10. ... The Reds promoted LHP Jeff Francis from Triple-A Louisville to start the second game. Francis signed a minor league deal in January after the Rockies let him go. ... The Reds optioned right-handed reliever Nick Christiani to Louisville before the first game, then added him as the 26th man for the second game. The Padres added reliever Kevin Quackenbush as their extra player for the second game. ... The Reds moved right-handed starter Mat Latos to the 60-day DL. Latos is expected back from knee and forearm problems in early June.
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