07/31 Padres Preview: Game 109 vs. Cincinnati

USA TODAY Sports

The Padres will try to extend their four-game winning streak while the Reds look to put an end to their five-game skid.

The Padres have already locked down their third straight series win after last night's effort, so today they'll go for the sweep against the Reds. Cincinnati has dropped five straight now as their offense has struggled to put runs on the board, hitting just 4-for-30 with runners in scoring position in that span. Last night was the first time during their five-game skid that they managed to score more than one run, but it wasn't enough to beat the Padres, who extended their winning streak to four with some more late-inning heroics. Today they'll try to keep the offense coming for Eric Stults, who has gotten less than three runs of support in 17 of his 22 starts this season.

Stults is coming off one his his worse starts this year. He gave up 11 hits and a career-worst seven runs, though two were unearned, in five innings of work. The Padres offense didn't help matters, failing to produce a single run in the 10-0 loss to the Diamondbacks. But the southpaw has been masterful at Petco Park lately, going 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last seven home starts while keeping opponents hitting just .173. And the Padres have won each of his last eight in San Diego. Stults is 1-0 all-time against the Reds, but his only start against them was back in 2008 when he was a member of the Dodgers. He did, however, pitch in three relief outings against Cincy last season, posting a 3.86 ERA.

While Stults looks to improve on his record in San Diego, the Reds will look to Homer Bailey to help them spoil his home win streak. Bailey threw a no-hitter against the Giants on July 2nd, but has otherwise been unable to find the win column. The no-no was his only win versus six losses in his last eight starts. He hasn't really been the problem, however. The Reds have been awful at providing him with run support, averaging less than two runs during that eight-game stretch. The only time they scored more than twice in one of those starts was the one time he didn't need it: during his no-hitter. Bailey, however, has had a lot of success in his career against the Padres. In seven outings against San Diego, he's gone 4-0 with a 4.30 ERA. And the Reds haven't had trouble scoring in those starts, giving him a more-than-respectable 9.82 run support average.

Can the Padres come through once again and complete their first sweep of the Reds since 2009? Find out this afternoon. Game time is set for 12:40.

More on today's starting pitchers: Reds vs. Stults Padres vs. Bailey
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