SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds hardly expected to get swept in three games by the lowly San Diego Padres.
On Wednesday, not even big league ERA leader Johnny Cueto could keep them from losing 3-0. Tyson Ross threw a three-hitter for his first career shutout and Rene Rivera hit a three-run single off Cueto. It was San Diego’s first sweep since September.
The three losses came after the Reds won six of seven to open the trip, including a four-game sweep at NL West-leading San Francisco.
“It’s a big loss because you hope to win two out of three, at least,” said Todd Frazier, who had two singles off Ross. “We set our goals high. Basically, the offense wasn’t there. That’s not us and we know it. You take four from San Francisco and you come back here, hoping to go 8-2, 9-1, and then this happens. You tip your caps to them, they had great pitching. But overall, we know we are a better hitting team.”
The Padres, who tied their season high with their fourth straight win, hadn’t swept a series since Sept. 6-8 against Colorado.
“You can imagine,” manager Bryan Price said of the team’s frustration. “Anybody who is a fan of the Reds is going to be more than simply disappointed in this series. It was a missed opportunity. You have to be resilient in the baseball season. But it hurts, it hurts quite a bit to have this type of opportunity to come in and not to just be able to take a game or two in the series is frustrating.”
Ross (7-8) was dominating in throwing his first complete game in 55 career starts. He struck out nine and walked none. The lanky right-hander retired the first 11 batters before Todd Frazier singled. Frazier had two of the Reds’ three hits.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the first, Rivera hit a blooper to the gap that hit off the heel of the glove of diving center fielder Billy Hamilton to give San Diego a 3-0 lead.
San Diego appeared to take a 4-0 lead on Seth Smith’s two-out double in the fourth, but the Reds appealed that Irving Falu missed third base. The umpires agreed, calling Falu out to end the inning. San Diego manager Bud Black argued, but the call was upheld on appeal.
Ross had received only one run of support in his previous five starts, and he knocked in that run in his last start, a 2-1 loss to Arizona. Ross was 0-4 in his last five starts.
Cueto (8-6) came in with the best ERA in the majors, 1.88. It rose to 1.99. He allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked three.
NOTES: The Reds were swept for the first time since April 25-27. … The Reds are off Thursday before opening a three-game home series against Milwaukee on Friday, when RHP Alfredo Simon (10-3, 2.81) is scheduled to start against RHP Kyle Lohse (9-2, 3.08).