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Padres Show Power in Defeating Reds

May 20, 1997|From Associated Press

CINCINNATI — The San Diego Padres have won only eight of their last 28 games going into tonight's series opener with the Dodgers, but anybody watching them in a 13-6 victory over the Reds on Monday had to wonder how that could happen.

And, had to come away a bit confused after seeing:

--Padres' leadoff hitter Steve Finley, not known as a power hitter, had three homers, giving him four this season--all in the last four days.

--San Diego get 16 hits, but seven-time NL batting champion Tony Gwynn being the only Padre non-pitching starter not to get one.

"It was a weird game, but we'll take it," said Gwynn. "It's been one of those years for us."

And for the Reds, the only team in the National League with a worse record than San Diego. Cincinnati is off to its worst start in 47 years and showed why, hitting into a triple play for the first time in four seasons and watching a rally undercut when two base runners stood and watched a ball they apparently believed would go for a homer.

Instead, it bounced off the wall for a single and nobody scored on the play.

"In my optimistic mind, we're capable of putting together a nice run of good baseball, even though today's game makes you puke," Manager Ray Knight said.

The Padres lost starter Andy Ashby because of a sore elbow. The Reds lost closer Jeff Brantley because of a sore shoulder. Both are expected to go on the disabled list.

Finley's three homers were the first time a Padre player had accomplished the feat since Nate Colbert in 1972. Terry Shumpert added a two-run homer and Carlos Hernandez had a pinch homer as the Padres matched a club mark with five.

"I've been struggling so much lately, it was just nice to get hits," said Finley, batting .250. "I don't care if they're home runs or not. I'm just making up for a little lost time."

With Knight coaching third base, the Reds tried a double steal with cleanup hitter Eddie Taubensee at bat and none out in the first inning. Ashby caught Taubensee's liner and threw to shortstop Chris Gomez, who stepped on second and threw to first to complete San Diego's first triple play since April 9, 1989.



WHO: San Diego Padres

WHERE: At San Diego

WHEN: Tonight 7 p.m., Wednesday 7:30 p.m., Thursday 2 p.m.

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