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San Diego Padres, Drew Pomeranz prance past Cincinnati Reds

By
Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange
Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

CINCINNATI -- San Diego Padres left-hander Drew Pomeranz enjoys taking batting practice, during which he'll deposit more than a few balls in the seats.

"I'm 5 o'clock lightning, for sure," Pomeranz says.

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On Saturday afternoon, he had a couple of big swings that counted.

Pomeranz starred both at the plate and on the mound, hitting a homer, driving in two runs and pitching seven shutout innings, to lift San Diego to a 3-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

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Pomeranz (7-7) allowed three hits as the Padres took the first three games of the four-game weekend series. The two RBIs were a career-high.

"He takes a really impressive batting practice," said manager Andy Green. "He tends to swing very liberally."

San Diego (33-43) hasn't lost a season series against the Reds since 2012, going 15-6 against them since.

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Fernando Rodney picked up his 17th save of the season.

After becoming the first team in franchise history to score a run in each of the first eight innings on Friday night, the Padres picked up right where they left off by scoring a run in the first inning on Saturday when Travis Jankowski doubled and later scored on a groundout to go ahead 1-0.

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Reds starter Brandon Finnegan allowed two hits and a run in the first but then held San Diego hitless for the next 3 2/3 innings.

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Finnegan retired seven straight before Pomeranz of all people launched a 1-1 pitch into the right-field stands for his second career homer, putting the Padres ahead 2-0 in the fifth.

It was Pomeranz's first homer since May 7, 2012, while with the Colorado Rockies, and it came against the Padres.

"I was pretty surprised myself," Pomeranz said of his opposite-field blast. "I told Brett Wallace, I'm just going to go up there and see if he can throw me three strikes. I saw it, moved the bat and hit it. I timed it right, I guess."

For the Reds, it was the first hit allowed to an opposing pitcher this season.

"He just hit it up in the air. It happens here," Finnegan said. "If you hit it in the air, it goes. Then he had that nice hit up the middle. He kind of did it all today."

A one-out single in the first by Joey Votto was the only hit given up by Pomeranz until Brandon Phillips doubled leading off the fourth. But he was erased attempting to steal.

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"That was a fortunate break for us," said Green.

That decision by Phillips proved costly in what was at the time a one-run game. The next batter singled.

"I'm happy he tried," Pomeranz said. "It changed the game because the next guy got a hit. Thank you, I guess."

It wasn't clear whether Phillips went on his own.

"Brandon has been really good and really effective the past couple of years stealing third," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "I just didn't think he got a good jump there."

Pomeranz retired the Reds in order in the second, fifth, and sixth.

He delivered again at the plate in the seventh, driving home Derek Norris from second to make the score 3-0.

Finnegan (3-6) allowed three runs, five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

It could have been a bigger seventh inning for San Diego, but Ross Ohlendorf fanned Matt Kemp to leave the bases loaded. Reds outfielder Jay Bruce ended the eighth by throwing out Alexi Amarista attempting to tag and score from third.

But Pomeranz continued his dominance, retiring the final 11 batters he faced. He walked one and struck out six. He finished with 98 pitches, but due to the humid conditions, Green chose not to bring him back for the eighth.

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"He threw the ball really well," Green said. "His breaking bat dropped in really well. He had good feel for his spin. It's that curveball when he can drop it in when he wanted. When he can control it like that, he's incredibly difficult to hit."

NOTES: Cincinnati was shut out for the sixth time this season. ... It was the fifth shutout this season for Padres' pitching. ... When San Diego scored a run in each of the first eight innings on Friday night, it became the first club in franchise history to do so. The only other team in the last 10 seasons with such a game is the Detroit Tigers in 2014 against the Rockies. ... Padres CF Jon Jay will not play in the series after being hit on the forearm by a pitch last Sunday. ... Pete Rose, baseball's career hits leader who is banned for gambling on the game, was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony.

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