National League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, July 30th (All times Eastern)
San Diego Padres (43-60) at Cincinnati Reds (61-40), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Edinson Volquez (6-7, 3.30) Cincinnati - Mike Leake (4-6, 4.12)
(Sports Network) - The Cincinnati Reds take aim at their first 11-game winning streak in over 55 years this evening when they open a four-game set with the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds have won 10 straight, 17 of their last 19 and after a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies this past weekend, are tied with the National League East-leading Washington Nationals for the best record in baseball at 61-40.
Remarkably, the team is 11-2 since Joey Votto went on the disabled list.
In the three-game sweep of the Rockies, which culminated in a 7-2 win on Sunday, Cincinnati scored 19 runs, and the team averaged six runs per game on their six-game road trip.
The starting pitchers were 5-0 with a 2.21 ERA during that span, helping the Reds increase their lead atop the NL Central to four-games over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"I'm always talking about the perfect road trip, finally had one," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's been a long time. I can't remember the last perfect road trip. The guys responded well."
The team hasn't won 11 in a row since a 12-game tear from April 30-May 12, 1957.
Hoping to extend that run tonight will be righty Mike Leake, who is 4-6 with a 4.12 ERA. Leake beat the Houston Astros on Tuesday, holding them to a pair of runs and seven hits in eight innings.
He has never faced the Padres, who will counter with a familiar face to those in Cincinnati in Edinson Volquez.
Volquez pitched the first four years of his career for the Reds, but was traded this offseason to San Diego in a deal that brought back Mat Latos.
The 29-year-old right-hander did face his former team on July 5 and did not get a decision, despite throwing seven innings of one run ball. He scattered five hits and struck out 10 in that one and the Padres held on for a 2-1 win.
Overall, Volquez has pitched well for the woeful Padres and hasn't lost in July, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four starts. He is 6-7 on the year with a 3.30 ERA.
San Diego enters this series having lost two of three over the weekend to the Miami Marlins, including a 5-4 setback in 10 innings on Sunday.
Despite the weekend struggles, the Padres are 14-10 in July and have won nine of 16 since the All-Star break.
"We've played well, and I think it starts on a number of factors," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "We got Carlos (Quentin) healthy and back in the lineup. Huston (Street) missed a month; he came back. Our middle-infield situation changed over; (Logan) Forsythe got healthy. That coincided with a couple guys bringing up their play offensively, and our defensive play picked up. So when you add all that up, it equates to more victories."
San Diego took one potential reliever off the trade market on Sunday when it agreed to a two-year extension with closer Huston Street. He will get paid $7 million in each of the next two seasons with a club option for the 2015 campaign.
"It's an honor," Street said. "Some people might say it's a team-friendly contract. That's fine with me. I'm happy. It's friendly to me. It's going to be very friendly to me."
Cincinnati took three of four from the Padres right before the All-Star break.
07/30 10:39:59 ET