Reds hope to hand Padres back-to-back losses

The Cincinnati Reds will try to use the inspiration of their manager to string together consecutive wins for the first time in a month when they host the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.

Manager David Bell threw a chair against the bat rack in the Cincinnati dugout in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over the Padres after Jake Fraley was knocked out of the game when hit by a Joe Musgrove pitch in the first inning.

Fraley is the fourth Reds player in the past month to be hit on the hand by a pitch. Christian Encarnacion-Strand and TJ Friedl already are on the injured list after they were drilled on the hands, sustaining fractures.

X-rays on Fraley’s hand were negative, but his hand was swollen, with more tests set for Wednesday.

“I can’t really put a fault to it, I guess, other than it’s just the nature of the game,” Fraley said. “Obviously, it’s been multiple guys and multiple pitchers. There’s obviously a part of bad luck to it, but it’s just unfortunate.”

Andrew Abbott, who threw seven shutout innings Tuesday, said Bell’s outburst in the dugout was inspirational to a team that won for just the sixth time in 24 games after a 14-10 start to the season.

“DB’s always been behind us,” Abbott said. “To show emotion like that just further makes that point. It should light a fire under us.”

Wednesday night, Cincinnati will seek back-to-back wins for the first time since beating the Philadelphia Phillies April 23-24.

The Padres were shut out for the second straight game Tuesday after losing 3-0 in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader in Atlanta and then generating just five singles Tuesday night, including four against Abbott.

“It just wasn’t consistent enough to be able to put anything together. And you can say that was some of our issue,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “But really, you know, this guy threw a pretty good ballgame.”

The Padres were playing their third game over two cities and 36 hours.

“We just had a long day, quick turnaround,” said Fernando Tatis Jr., who collected his 500th career hit with a first-inning single Tuesday. “Our bodies were not where we expected. But it’s part of it, and we need to take care of it.”

The Reds will send right-hander Nick Martinez (1-2, 4.23 ERA) against his former team in the second game of the three-game series. Martinez will make his second straight start in place of Nick Lodolo, who is on the 15-day injured list with a strained left groin.

In his most recent start, Martinez allowed only one hit over five shutout innings and earned his first win with Cincinnati, a 7-2 decision over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.

Martinez will make his third career start against San Diego and second this season. He was tagged for five runs – three earned – on six hits over five innings and took the loss in a 6-4 defeat on April 30 at San Diego.

The Padres will counter Wednesday with right-hander Michael King (3-4, 4.31), who has started in nine of his 10 appearances this season.

After not allowing a run in his previous two starts covering 13 innings, King was charged with six runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings and took the loss last Wednesday in an 8-0 defeat against the Colorado Rockies.

King will make his fourth career appearance against Cincinnati but his first start. He is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, allowing just two hits over four scoreless relief innings.

–Field Level Media