CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Reds' rebuilding project is centered around its young pitching. That's why Anthony DeSclafani's oblique injury late in spring training was such a blow to the club.
But, DeSclafani is back now, and on Sunday afternoon he showed the potential that has the Reds believing he's an integral part of their future.
DeSclafani pitched eight shutout innings and Jay Bruce homered as the Reds avoided the sweep with a 3-0 victory over the San Diego Padres in the finale of a four-game series at Great American Ball Park.
DeSclafani allowed just five hits to help the Reds avoid their first-ever four-game sweep against the Padres.
It was the first shutout this season for Cincinnati, making them the last National League team to record one. The Minnesota Twins are the last remaining major league team without a shutout.
"I'm glad I was able to go eight innings, but I'll take the zeroes on top of that," DeSclafani said. "It was a hot day. Drank a lot of water. Just tried to get back in the dugout as quick as I could."
It was DeSclafani's fourth start since coming off the disabled list with an oblique injury suffered in his final spring start. Prior to that, the 26-year old right-hander was expected to be the Reds' Opening Day starter.
"There's no quit in this kid." Price said.
DeSclafani (2-0) had five strikeouts, no walks, and one hit batter on Sunday.
"He had good velocity, a good hard slider," said manager Bryan Price. "When you get eight shutout innings from your starter, it's a big boost. What a lift for the ballclub."
The Padres were shut out for the 11th time, most in the major leagues.
"Overall it was a good weekend," manager Andy Green said. "It was enjoyable for me but when you're managing a big-league club, you don't walk away from losing a game and feel much joy in the aftermath. I'll reflect on the weekend much more favorably as time passes."
It was a nightmarish afternoon on the bases for San Diego.
Each of the first two innings for the Padres ended with a caught stealing.
Yangervis Solarte singled leading off the fifth, but he was picked off first moments later by DeSclafani.
"You want to finish off today better than we did," Green said. "We gave away too many outs on the base paths. We didn't get any threats all day long, we weren't ever in position, and that's a little bit of a credit to (DeSclafani)."
Cincinnati snapped a 16-inning scoreless streak in the second when Jose Peraza reached on an infield single and scored on Tucker Barnhart's double to put the Reds ahead 1-0.
The Reds led 2-0 after Bruce belted the first pitch from Luis Perdomo for a solo homer leading off the fourth. It was Bruce's 17th homer this season.
Bruce nearly had another in the sixth, but it was caught in center just shy of the 404-foot sign.
"On a different day, that ball's out, too," Price said.
Later in the inning, DeSclafani snapped an 0-for-48 skid at the plate for Reds pitchers when he lined a RBI single to center to make the score 3-0.
Perdomo (2-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings.
DeSclafani rolled into the seventh with only 81 pitches and four hits allowed, then joined Dan Straily and John Lamb as the only Reds starters to toss seven innings in consecutive starts.
San Diego did not have a runner advance past first base on Sunday.
Left-hander Tony Cingrani notched his ninth save.
"I'll take it," DeSclafani said. "It's not going to be every day that you get eight shutout innings."
NOTES: The Reds retired Pete Rose's uniform No. 14 during a pregame ceremony as part of weekend-long festivities as part of baseball's all-time hits leader being inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame. Rose was given a crystal glass sculpture depicting the moment after he got his 4,192nd hit and a painting illustrating his trademark headfirst slide. ... Jose Peraza started in center field for the Reds on Sunday. Manager Bryan Price is trying to find playing time for Peraza who is a second baseman by trade. ... ... Per Elias, Padres LHP Drew Pomeranz on Saturday became one of only three San Diego pitchers to collect at least two hits, including a home run, without allowing a run on the mound, joining Joey Hamilton in 1996 and Mat Latos in 2010.