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Reds 7, Padres 3: No sweep for Shields

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres, presumably under ownership's orders to make brown look bad, lost yet another Wayback Wednesday game today, and it was uglier than any fashion that came out of the '80s. After giving up three runs in the first, James Shields was given a gift by Second Half Matt Kemp, which he blew by balking in the game-winning run in the third. It's not entirely fair to pin the loss solely on Shields, since the offense came up silent after the first and the bullpen let the Reds pile on, but the fact is that the team's number one starter got sloppy and gave his opponents a free run.

Of course, Shields was sloppy from the get-go. After Billy Hamilton led off the game with a single, James beaned Eugenio Suarez. Joey Votto followed that with another single to score the speedy Hamilton. The Padres finally got an out when Todd Frazier struck out, but Jay Bruce bounced back with a two-run triple. He was mercifully stranded there, but that was a lot of damage in the first inning.

The Friars did manage to even things up briefly. Yangervis Solarte took one for the team and then went to second when Yonder Alonso singled. Then Kemp hit his 12th dinger of the year to tie it up with nobody out. Justin Upton drew a walk, but Jedd Gyorko couldn't advance him and struck out instead. Instead of waiting for Derek Norris to hit a double and bring him home, Upton tried to swipe second and got caught. Will Venable grounded out to end the inning and strand Norris at second.

Votto caused trouble again in the third with a one-out single. He quickly advanced to third when Frazier doubled, and then Shields did that dumb balk thing to give Cincinnati a free run. He did manage to strand Frazier at third, but it was too little, too late. The Reds small balled another run in the seventh, and Frank Garces did what he does best by giving up a two-run bomb to Votto in the ninth, but it didn't really matter. The balk was the run that made the difference.

The Padres take tomorrow off, and then they're back Friday as Tyson Ross gets the start in Colorado. First pitch at 5:40 PM.

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