Padres’ Joe Musgrove seeks elusive win vs. Reds

MLB

Two pitchers looking to rediscover the win column will take the mound Wednesday night as the visiting San Diego Padres meet the Cincinnati Reds in the second game of their three-game series.

The Padres, winners of 10 of their past 11, will send right-hander Joe Musgrove (4-6, 2.22 ERA) against the Reds as he seeks his first win since May 19. Musgrove has been very effective since then, allowing seven earned runs in 34 innings (1.85 ERA) but has two losses and four no-decisions for his effort.

Cincinnati will counter with right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez (3-2, 3.97), who will make his seventh major-league appearance and his second against the Padres. Gutierrez was tagged for eight hits and five earned runs over five innings in a 7-5 defeat on June 19 at San Diego. He didn’t figure into the decision.

Gutierrez was denied in his bid to become only the ninth pitcher in Reds history to earn at least four wins in his first five major-league starts.

Gutierrez is coming off an outing last Friday in which he allowed six hits and three earned runs over six-plus innings in a 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. He allowed solo homers to Dansby Swanson and Guillermo Heredia and took the loss.

“I was checking on the tablet that I have in the dugout just to see where those pitches were. The first home run was down, but it was still close to the plate. The one to Heredia was in the middle of the plate,” Gutierrez said via a translator.

“I was just trying to execute a good pitch there, try to battle him and get him out on a strikeout. That ball stayed in the zone, and that’s what happened.”

The series features the two best late-inning scoring teams in baseball, as San Diego has 135 runs this year in the seventh inning or later. The only team in baseball to score more in that span is the Reds with 140.

Neither team scored after the fifth inning in Tuesday’s 5-4 San Diego win, with the Padres stranding a season-high 16 runners, including leaving the bases loaded three times.

Blake Snell was scratched from his scheduled start against the Reds on Tuesday due to a mild stomach illness. The Padres’ lefty isn’t expected to miss much time and could start this week.

“How long will it take? I don’t know, but I do expect him to be able to make a start relatively soon if everything checks out well with the tests and he can turn the corner relatively quickly,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said.

Lefty Drew Pomeranz and right-hander Pierce Johnson were activated off the injured list before the series opener, and each pitched an inning of scoreless relief on Tuesday, part of an eight-pitcher San Diego effort.

Pomeranz posted a 1.98 ERA in 13 2/3 innings before going on the injured list May 13 with a left-shoulder impingement. Johnson (right triceps) yielded runs in just three of his first 20 appearances before allowing runs in three of his last seven since June 2.

–Field Level Media

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