DeSclafani pitches Reds past Padres 3-0

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 26: Anthony DeSclafani #28 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on while pitching against the San Diego Padres in the first inning of the game at Great American Ball Park on June 26, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds defeated the Padres 3-0. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 26: Anthony DeSclafani #28 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on while pitching against the San Diego Padres in the first inning of the game at Great American Ball Park on June 26, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds defeated the Padres 3-0. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Credit: Joe Robbins

Credit: Joe Robbins

Anthony DeSclafani gave the Reds almost everything they needed to beat the San Diego Padres, 3-0, on Sunday.

Jay Bruce, Juan Peraza and the San Diego baserunners did the rest.

DeSclafani pitched eight efficient innings and drove in a run, Bruce homered and Peraza had two hits and scored a run as the Reds avoided being swept by San Diego in a four-game series for the first time since the Padres joined the National League in 1969.

Tony Cingrani pitched a perfect ninth to complete Cincinnati’s first shutout win of the season. The Reds were the last team in the National League to post a shutout win as DeSclafani turned in the kind of performance about which pitchers dream.

“I think from the get-go this is what you want to do,” he said. “You don’t picture yourself going three innings and giving up a lot of hits. I’ll take it.”

The Padres ended the first and second innings with runners caught stealing and saw another picked off first, helping extend DeSclafani’s start in a game in which the temperature was 89 degrees when he threw the first pitch.

“Tucker made a great throw, and I was able to pick a guy and catch a guy leaving early,” said DeSclafani, who finished with 117 pitches, 77 for strikes. “I think it’s important. It’s a big part of the game for sure. Every pitcher has to be conscious of it.”

That was especially appreciated by Reds manager Bryan Price, who was a man short in his bullpen after right-hander JC Ramirez was placed on waivers and claimed by the Angels. The Reds announced the move during the game.

DeSclafani faced the minimum number of batters in five of his eight innings and four in the other two. No runner got past first base.

“He was sharp,” Price said. “He had good velocity and a good hard slider. He had good rapport with Tucker, but what I liked was when they weren’t on the same page, Tucker would go out and explain the purpose of the pitch and they reached some good conclusions. Eight shutout innings – what a lift for the team. That’s a lift for all of us.

“Eight shutout innings does a lot to make a manager look good.”

Peraza, making his seventh start of the season and second in center field, beat out a grounder to shortstop Alexei Ramirez with two outs in the second inning and scored all the way from first base on Tucker Barnhart’s double into the right field corner. Like Pete Rose, whose number 14 was retired in pre-game ceremonies before an adoring, sellout crowd of 40,805, Peraza finished the play with a headfirst slide.

The sellout crowd was Cincinnati’s fifth of the season and third straight, the first time the Reds enjoyed such a profitable stretch since September 27-29, 2013, when they were battling Pittsburgh for home-field advantage in the wild-card game.

Peraza, who had logged one hit in each of his first six starts, started in place of Billy Hamilton, who was 6-for-31 in eight games since coming off the concussion disabled list on June 17.

Bruce launched Perdomo’s first pitch of the fourth inning into the right field seats for his 17th home run of the season.

DeSclafani made it 3-0 with a two-out, bases-loaded single in the sixth, snapping a 48 at-bat hitless stretch for Reds pitchers that dated back to Alfredo Simon’s single on May 22.