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04/21/10 10:58 PM ET

First-place Padres roll into Cincy

When the Padres began a series last weekend at home against the D-backs, they were 3-6 and had an early place in the National League West cellar.

A little home cooking fixed all that. San Diego swept Arizona and did the same with fellow division-rival San Francisco to go from last to first as the club got ready to hit the road.

"We played good baseball all around, pitched well, defensively, ran the bases well," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I think our hitting will improve as we move forward, but I'm encouraged by the overall play of the group. There's a lot of great team play going on right now."

The six-game trip will take them first to Cincinnati and then to Florida before they come back to the friendly confines of PETCO Park.

If the Padres continue to pitch like they have, it really won't matter whether they are at PETCO, Great American Ball Park or Sun Life Stadium. The pitching staff had a 14-inning scoreless streak snapped in the fifth inning of Wednesday's game. In the last 11 games, during which San Diego has gone 8-3, the staff has a 2.25 ERA and a .208 batting average against.

"We know we have a very good pitching San Diego team coming, especially with a really good bullpen," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "They've got some gas for you in that bullpen. It's going to be a real good series this weekend, especially if we can continue to hit and get well-pitched games."

The Reds' offense had something going against the Dodgers, collecting 23 runs on 33 hits in taking two out of three.

The Padres head to Cincinnati in sole possession of first place for the first time since April 14 last year. They'll hand the ball to Kevin Correia, who's coming off his best start of the season, 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball for his second win of the season. He's gone 5-1 in his career against the Reds, though Great American Ball Park hasn't always been kind to the right-hander. He has gone 3-1, albeit with a 6.86 ERA in six total outings. He did win his lone start there in 2009, going six innings and allowing just two runs.

The Reds snapped a five-game losing streak on Tuesday before finishing out their three-game set with the Dodgers with the series victory. In a late switch, Bronson Arroyo will be starting instead of Johnny Cueto, who was given an extra's day rest according to Baker.

Arroyo is still looking for his first win of the season in the opener against the Padres. He's pitched well enough to win two of the first three trips through the rotation, including his opening start, in which he twirled a four-hit one-run gem over eight innings. He did suffer a loss his last time out, however, giving up five earned runs to the Pirates through six innings, despite striking out seven.

Padres: Gonzalez moving up the list

Adrian Gonzalez homered in the first inning of Wednesday's game against the Giants to give the Padres a 1-0 lead. That was career home run No. 133 with San Diego for the first baseman. That ties him for fifth on the all-time Padres list with Ryan Klesko. Next up: Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn at 135.

Reds: Votto powers up

Those who were worrying about Joey Votto's run production can relax a little now. It's true that the first baseman, who hit 49 homers the past two seasons, hadn't hit one since Opening Day until Tuesday, a stretch of 13 games. But he went deep against the Dodgers on Tuesday and Wednesday, both multi-hit and multi-RBI games. After a day off against the Pirates on April 16, Votto was hitting .263/.364/.395 for a .759 OPS. After the Dodgers series, Votto was up to .321 with a .945 OPS. Jonny Gomes was given Wednesday off in left field because Reds were facing a challenging right-hander in Vicente Padilla. Gomes, expected to start in the Friday opener, has hit safely in six of his past eight games, with eight of his 10 RBIs.

Worth noting
The Padres have seen the most pitches of any offense in the NL. Conversely, the Reds had thrown the second-most pitches in the circuit, behind only the New York Mets. ... The Padres last swept back-to-back series May 15-24, 2009, when they did it three straight series against the Reds, Giants and Cubs. ... David Eckstein did something in Wednesday's game he hadn't done all year: Strike out. It came in his 52nd plate appearance. No one else in the big leagues had as many plate appearances without a whiff this year. ... Four of the Reds' Past six No. 1 Draft picks were on the 25-man roster to start the season: Mike Leake (2009), Drew Stubbs ('06), Jay Bruce ('05) and Homer Bailey ('04).

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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