The San Diego Padres got two runs gift wrapped in the first inning and held on to win the second game of this three-game series 3-1.
Former Red Chris Denorfia greeted Tony Cingrani with a clean single to open the game. Will Venable, whose father Max, was a Reds' player in the '80's single to left. Xavier Paul fumbled the ball allowing Denorfia to score and Venable to reach second base. A throwing error by Jack Hannahan, the first of three, allowed Venable to score.
The Reds scored a run in the bottom of the first off Tyler Ross.
Shin-Soo Choo walked and stole second as Zack Cozart struck out. Joey Votto hit a ball hard to the right of Jedd Gyorko at second. Gyorko made a diving stop and threw Votto out as Choo advanced to third. Brandon Phillips drove in his 87th run of the season and the 23rd in his last 25 games with a sharp single to right.
Cingrani and Ross settled in.
Ross has allowed just 10 earned runs in 41 innings for a 2.20 ERA and opponents are hitting just .182 against him in his seven starts.
The Reds threatened in the seventh. Jay Bruce walked to open the frame. Paul singled Bruce to third. The Reds seemed to be in business but Devin Mesoroco hit a fly ball high and shallow to Denorfia in right. Paul took off for second as Yonder Alonso cut Denorfia's throw and threw Paul out as Bruce held third.
The four errors the most by a Reds' team since May 20, 2010 caused his pitch count to be too high to pitch beyond the fifth inning. He threw 32 in the first inning alone.
Will Venable extended his hitting streak to seven games while clubbing his 15th home run of the season off Manny Parra. Venable's career high was the 13 home runs he hit in 2010.
Coming into the game, Parra had an 0.48 ERA in his last 22 appearances.
"We didn't play well," said Baker. It was somewhat of an understatement. "We gave them four outs and that puts a strain on your pitcher. I think the errors got into Jack's (Hannahan) head a little. Jack is one of the best. I've seen some of the best have games like that. Jack is know for his defense. We had some base running blunders take us out an inning. I thought Paul was bluffing to force a cutoff. We swung at some sliders in the dirt. We knew he had a good one."
Paul and Hannahan wanted to forget the game and move on
"It feels horrible," Paul said. "Two costly plays. I thought I had the ball in left. It went right through me. On the fly ball, what I wanted to happen, happened. I wanted to force him to cut the ball off. My mistake was not judging how deep it was. It was an aggressive mistake."
It was the same with Hannahan.
"The first one I rushed a little bit," Hannahan said. "The second one stayed down on me. I air mailed the third one. I cost Tony some pitches. I'm 33-years old, so no one had to talk to me to pick me up. At no time did I not want the ball hit to me."
Pokey Reese one of the Reds' best fielders started opening day in 1998 in place of the injured Barry Larkin. Reese made three errors in the first inning of that game.