Gennett's slam leads Reds' rally against Padres

Gennett's slam leads Reds' rally against Padres

CINCINNATI -- One swing from Scooter Gennett on Thursday and the Reds had a series win, and Brad Hand had an impressive scoreless streak crash and burn. It was Gennett's two-out grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning that helped lift Cincinnati a 10-3 victory over the Padres to take three of four games in the series at Great American Ball Park. The Reds were trailing by a 3-2 score in the seventh when they scored eight unanswered runs.

Hand entered with one out in the seventh and walked Joey Votto to load the bases. Following Adam Duvall's strikeout, Gennett lifted a first-pitch slider to right field for the third grand slam of his career. Eugenio Suarez made it back-to-back long balls when he launched a 1-0 fastball to left field for his 20th homer of the season. Hand entered with a 24-inning streak without allowing a run since June 10, the longest active streak in the big leagues.

"When you look up there and you see more runs than hits [eight], that's always a special thing," Gennett said. "Really, it's swinging at good pitches, drawing walks. We had a couple hit-by-pitches. Then capitalizing when runners are on base is how you win ballgames. If we just stay there and take what the pitcher gives you, I think we'll be alright."

Votto's solo home run

In the eighth inning, following a two-out walk by pinch-hitter Devin Mesoraco, Zack Cozart put the game away with a two-run homer to left field against Phil Maton. For good measure, Votto followed with a homer to left field, his 31st of the season while also extending his hitting streak to 15 games.

Reds starter Luis Castillo pitched six-plus innings with three earned runs, six hits, three walks and four strikeouts for a no-decision. Wil Myers got San Diego on the scoreboard with one out in the fourth inning by hitting a 2-1 fastball to right field for his 23rd homer of the season.

Castillo escapes trouble in 2nd

Against Padres starter Dinelson Lamet, the Reds jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a one-out rally. Suarez was hit by a pitch and Patrick Kivlehan hit a single before Tucker Barnhart lined a two-run double into right field. Lamet did not give up another hit for the remainder of his outing, however. It was the fourth consecutive sharp outing for Lamet, who was asked last month to throw more sliders. He's now using the pitch 45 percent of the time, and in those four starts, he's posted a 2.31 ERA.

"The slider was good, the stuff was good," said Padres manager Andy Green. "... The stuff is real. Overall, another good outing from him."

Lamet gets Barnhart swinging

Following Castillo, the Reds' bullpen provided three scoreless innings of relief. Drew Storen issued a two-out walk that put runners on the corners but escaped for the victory. Austin Brice and Raisel Iglesias handled the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Odd timing for the Hand-off?:
Padres manager Andy Green surprised reliever Kirby Yates in the seventh inning with one out and two on with a walk and hit batter. In a 2-2 count as Yates prepared to pitch to Votto, Green popped out of the dugout and immediately went to lefty closer to face Cincinnati's best hitter. The move backfired as Votto saw two balls and drew a walk that loaded the bases to set up the big moment for Gennett two batters later.

Votto's walk to load the bases

Afterward, Green explained his decision making, noting that Hand wasn't loose when Votto stepped to the plate. By the time the count went, 2-2, however, that had changed.

"I want Brad Hand on the mound, lefty-lefty, 2-2 count," Green said. "I think I'd choose that over anybody else on our team. And in Votto's case, my guess is that he sizes a guy up. The deeper he gets into an at-bat, the better he feels."

Added Hand: "I pitched the same. I just left a pitch up to Scooter and that was it."

Votto recalled a similar situation when he was at the rookie level of the lower Minor Leagues.

"I was up 3-1 or maybe 3-0, and they brought a left-hander in when I was playing for Billings. And he struck me out," Votto said. "That kind of motivated me to never have a deficiency in my game. I think that started the process of making sure I was competitive against left-handed pitching. It was a good thing. It really reminded me of that." More >

Padres take the lead: Castillo had two outs in the fifth inning but struggled to get through the Padres lineup the third time around. With a runner on third base, a first-pitch changeup was ripped to left field by Cory Spangenberg for the tying run. Castillo threw a pair of fastballs to Jose Pirela, who hit a 98 mph 1-0 offering to right field for an RBI single and the go-ahead run.

Pirela's RBI single

QUOTABLE
"There's no doubt we went outside the box right there. But if you stay in the box, you have to expect conventional results all the time. I don't think we're necessarily built that way." -- Green, on his decision to use Hand mid-at-bat

"Phenomenal. I like the way the kid competes and gets after it. It allowed us to get to that point to really get into the bullpen -- every guy did a job, they had to get a big out and did. It put us in a situation to keep the game at 3-2 and have the big uprising in the last couple of innings." -- Price, on Castillo and his relievers in the victory.

WHAT'S NEXT
Padres: The Padres head to Los Angeles to open a three-game set against the Dodgers, their first trip to Chavez Ravine since the season's opening series. Clayton Richard blanked the Dodgers for eight frames then, but he struggled in two starts against them since. He'll start the opener at 7:10 p.m. PT Friday night.

Reds: A three-city road trip begins with a three-game series at Milwaukee that begins at 8:10 p.m. ET from Miller Park. Homer Bailey will get the start while Votto will head to Miller Park batting .345 with 17 homers lifetime.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.