McCoy: Ugly loss continues Cincinnati struggles in San Diego

Reds make three errors in 6-4 setback

When it comes to San Diego, the Cincinnati Reds would rather be across the border in Tijuana buying serapes for their wives.

With a 6-4 loss to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night, the Reds have lost 11 of their last 13 games in beautiful Petco Park.

And it was an ugly loss to a team that had lost five straight. The Reds made three errors.

The ugliest inning was the fifth when the Padres scored four runs, two of them unearned.

The Reds faced Yu Darvish, who missed four starts with a sore neck and he was a pain in the neck to the Reds.

He pitched five scoreless innings on three hits and left after throwing 70 pitches, 50 for strikes.

Reds starter Nick Martinez enacted an incredible escape act in the first inning. The former San Diego pitcher with the dancing feet on the mound, loaded the bases with no outs.

That brought up Manny Machado, owner of 13 career grand slams. He ripped a line drive headed for left field, but Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz used all 6-foot-5 of his lean body to leap and spear it.

Xander Bogaerts flied to shallow right and Jackson Merrill flied to deep right and Martinez escaped unscathed.

An omen? Nope.

The Padres scored a run in the third with a couple of pin cushion hits — a bloop double to left by Fernando Tatis Jr. and a bloop run-scoring single to right by Jake Cronenworth and it was 1-0.

Then came a dizzying fifth.

Number nine hitter Tyle Wade led off with a bloop single on a 0-2 pitch. And bloop was the word of the night when Jurickson Profar blooped a single to left, putting runners on second and first with no outs.

Tatis forced Profar at second and there were runners on third and first with one out.

Then came a bizarre play, one that might be called ‘Manager’s Choice.’

Cronenworth grounded out to second base as Wade scored. But catcher’s interference was called on catcher Luke Maile.

By rule, San Diego manager Mike Schildt has a choice: (1) Ignore the interference and take the run and the out at first base. (2) Take the interference, but Wade would have to go back to third base, no run, but Cronenworth would get first base.

Schildt chose to give up the run in favor of having the bases loaded with one out.

It was a wise and sage choice. With the bases loaded for him once again, this time Machado emptied them with a three-run double and a 4-0 lead.

Left fielder Spencer Steer then lost Merrill’s fly ball in the lights and the ball ricocheted off his glove for an error and Machado scored to make it 5-0.

Once they rid themselves of Darvish, the Reds tried to stage one of their comebacks.

They scored two in the sixth on three straight hits against Cuban defector Adrian Morejon — a single by De La Cruz, a double by Steer, both on first pitches, and a two-run single by Jonathan India, cutting San Diego’s advantage to 5-2.

San Diego scored a run in the sixth against Buck Farmer on a single by Ha-Seong Kim and a double by Profar.

The Reds crept to within two in the seventh on a pair of solo home runs by Jeimer Candelario and Stuart Fairchild.

Candelario arrived in San Diego 0 for 19 with 12 strikeouts but had two hits Monday and two more Tuesday. And Fairchild broke a 0 for 18 skid with his home run.

That made it 6-4, but Yuki Matsui retired five straight and closer Robert Suarez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 10th save. He has pitched 12 1/3 innings and given up one run.

The bottom four batters in the Reds lineup entered the game all hitting below .200 and six of the nine in the lineup were below .213.

And once again manager David Bell was shorthanded with both Tyler Stephenson and Christian Encarnacion-Strand out with injuries.

Pitcher Justin Wilson came into Tuesday’s game in the eighth inning and the first batter he faced, Jose Azocar, lined 100 mph hit off his shin, forcing him out of the game.

Bell was ejected for the first time this year when he vehemently disagreed with home plate umpire Cory Blaser’s balls and strikes calls on Santiago Espinal’s at bat in the seventh.

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