07/29 Padres Preview: Game 107 vs. Cincinnati

USA TODAY Sports

Sean O`Sullivan and Mike Leake face off as the Padres begin an eight-game homestand.

After a five-day All-Star Break followed by a ten-game road trip to open up the second half of the season, the Padres are finally back home in San Diego. Hometown boy Sean O`Sullivan will get another chance to impress as the Padres open up their homestand against the Reds tonight. He's making his fourth appearance (third start) of the season and is still looking for his first win. He was decent in his last outing, throwing 6 1/3 innings against the Brewers and allowing three runs (two earned) while walking three, but coming out on the losing end.

This will be O`Sullivan's first career appearance against Cincinnati, who have won six of their last seven games against the Padres overall as well as six of their last eight at Petco Park. But the Reds offense has disappeared lately. They scored only two runs total as they dropped the final three games of their four-game set against the Dodgers. They were shut out yesterday in an 11-inning drought that ended in a Yasiel Puig walkoff homer. The Padres offense has been hit or miss since returning from the All-Star Break. Yesterday's win was only possible because of a phenomenal pitching performance by Tyson Ross, who held the Diamondbacks scoreless through eight frames while the Padres scored just one run of support. The night before, they put up 12 runs against Dbacks pitching. And the night before that, they failed to put any runs on the board.

This series they'll face a Reds pitching staff that has been fantastic this season, ranking among the best in the league with a 3.33 ERA. But tonight's starter, Mike Leake, had a lot of trouble in his first and only career start against the Padres almost exactly one year ago. He surrendered five runs and issued three walks in just 1 2/3 innings. Leake hopes to build off his current three-game winning streak and redeem himself from that 2012 appearance against San Diego. He battled in his most recent start, giving up a career-worst 12 hits but still keeping the Giants (who now sit in the NL West Cellar) to only one run in six innings of work.

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