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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, August 11th (All times Eastern)

San Diego Padres (53-63) at Cincinnati Reds (64-52), 1:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Ian Kennedy (4-8, 5.14) Cincinnati - Mike Leake (10-5, 2.94)

(Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres try to notch back-to-back wins for the first time since late July when they take the field at Great American Ball Park versus the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon.

Currently 13 games out of contention in the National League West and sitting in fourth place in the standings, the Padres have won just three times in their last eight games, following what had been a four-game win streak. During that last successful run in July, two of the victories came against this same Cincinnati club, a feat the team hopes to repeat this afternoon.

On Saturday San Diego snapped a three-game slide with a 3-1 triumph in the middle contest of a three-game set. Starting pitcher Tyson Ross had control of the game for the most part, allowing just a single run on four hits over seven innings. In picking up his third win of the campaign, Ross also struck out six and managed to work around four bases-on-balls.

"I started getting in grooves and just getting on the same page as (catcher Nick Hundley) and executing pitches," Ross said of his effort. "That will happen every now and then, but the key was the defense picking me up."

Huston Street came on in the ninth, fanning a pair, as he collected his 22nd save of the season.

The Padres got by with a mere four hits, two by Will Venable, who delivered his 15th home run and scored twice for the visitors.

Cincinnati also registered just four hits in the outing, but at the same time committed four errors. After Brandon Phillips' single to right scored Shin-Soo Choo in the bottom half of the first, the Reds were barely heard from the rest of the way.

Tony Cingrani started for the Reds, giving up two unearned runs on just two hits and a couple of walks, while fanning five through five innings as he absorbed the loss.

"Frustrating game," said Cincinnati third baseman Jack Hannahan, who was charged with three of his team's errors. "I don't get a lot of starts. You get one and have a game like this, of course, it gets magnified. But it's baseball. I'm going to come back ready to work tomorrow and help the team win."

Attempting to win back-to-back games for the first time in more than two months, Ian Kennedy steps to the hill for the Padres today. The right-hander, who came over from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a recent trade, won his San Diego debut a week ago in a 6-3 decision over the New York Yankees.

In that meeting Kennedy permitted two runs on four hits, but also walked four, as he struck out six in 5 2/3 innings. It was the hurler's first win since early June, snapping a five-game slide in the process.

Although he is just 1-5 on the road, Kennedy has performed well against the Reds in his career, sporting a 3-0 record with a minuscule 1.27 ERA in three appearances.

Set to counter for Cincinnati is Mike Leake. The right-hander, who was born in San Diego, clashed with the Padres as recently as July 29, pitching seven shutout innings but failing to factor into the decision.

In his subsequent start, Leake went up against the St. Louis Cardinals last weekend and this time was thumped as he gave up seven runs on eight hits and a couple of walks in just five innings. The defeat was the first in nearly a month for the Arizona State product.

In two career appearances against his hometown team, Leake is 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA over the course of 8 2/3 innings.

San Diego had won just two games against the Reds in each of the last two seasons, but now the Padres are ahead in this year's series by a count of 3-2 thanks to yesterday's victory.

08/11 10:27:46 ET

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