Pomeranz, Padres blank Reds 3-0

If nothing else, the beleaguered Reds pitchers staff at least could say this season that they hadn’t allowed a hit to an opposing pitcher.

That is, until Saturday. Cross that off the list.

San Diego right-hander Drew Pomeranz hit an opposite-field home run into the right field seats and followed up with a run-scoring single as the Padres notched their third straight win over the Reds, 3-0, at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds have lost four straight games, their longest losing streak since their season-high 11-game skid from May 17 through May 27, and six of their last seven.

Neither team has swept the other in a four-game series since the National League expanded to include San Diego in 1969. Cincinnati will try to avoid becoming the first victim in the series finale at 1:10 p.m. on Sunday, after the retirement of Pete Rose’s uniform No. 14.

The shutout loss – before a second consecutive sellout crowd, the one of 40,871 – was Cincinnai’s sixth of the season. Brandon Finnegan has been the losing pitcher in four of them.

“It was (Mike) Leake here for a while,” manager Bryan Price said about hard-luck pitchers. “It happens from time to time. You get shutout or don’t score many runs and it’s the same pitcher. Win or lose, he’s pitching winning baseball. Sometimes, you pitch winning baseball and lose.”

Finnegan (3-6) lasted 6-2/3 innings despite not having his best stuff, he said.

“I wasn’t sharp with my stuff, but when I threw strikes, I got outs,” the left-hander said. “When I figured out I could beat them without my best stuff, I just threw it over the plate and they beat it into the ground or popped it up.”

Brandon Phillips created and then took the Reds out of a scoring opportunity in the fourth inning. He led off by skittering a grounder between first baseman Wil Myers and the bag and down the right field line for a double. Despite being in scoring position, Phillips then tried to steal third, where he was easily thrown out by catcher Derek Norris, breaking the basic rule that says a runner never should make the first or third out of an inning at third base.

“I’m happy that he tried,” Pomeranz said. “That changes the game a little bit, because the next guy singles.”

“A fortunate break for us to get the opportunity to do that,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “That kind of negated what could have been a rally.”

Jay Bruce followed with what would likely have been an RBI single up the middle, the last Reds hit against Pomeranz, who retired the last 11 Reds batters he faced. finishing with a flourish by striking out Bruce, Adam Duvall and Eugenio Suarez – the fourth, fifth and sixth batters in manager Bryan Price's lineup – in the seventh,.

Travis Jankowski double to left to lead off the game against Finnegan, went to third on Myers groundout to second and scored on Matt Kemp’s groundout to third baseman Eugenio Suarez, who thought about trying to throw out Jankowski at the plate before taking the out at first.

Pomeranz made it 2-0 in the fifth with his second career homer and 3-0 in the seventh, driving in Norris from second with a single up the middle. Both hits came with two outs.