Padres seek to go 7-0 against Reds for season

MLB

The San Diego Padres will look to gain another sweep on Thursday night when they finish their three-game series against the host Cincinnati Reds.

The Padres completed their first-ever four-game sweep of the Reds in June in San Diego. A win Thursday in Cincinnati would give them a seven-game season sweep of the Reds.

And while the Padres have had nothing but positive vibes on the field, it’s been a different story in and around their dugout in this series.

San Diego outfielder Tommy Pham complained to stadium security that a fan behind the dugout was yelling and cursing at him Tuesday night during his team’s 5-4 win. Pham received help from a Cincinnati police officer, who spoke to the fan.

“For whatever reason, it feels like it’s gone another level or two up,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said of verbal abuse by fans. “And as far as my take on it there, there’s no place for cussing. There’s no place for cussing at a player, at a person. There is a place for heckling and having fun. There is a clear line.

“Our players should always be in an environment that is safe, and they feel comfortable. And there’s never a place in the stands, especially with young people in the stands, for cussing at someone. Never a place for that.”

For the second time in three days, Tingler will go with a spot starter as left-hander Ryan Weathers (3-2, 2.47 ERA) will make his ninth start and 15th appearance of the season.

Weathers is starting after right-hander Dinelson Lamet was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday with right-forearm inflammation. This will be Weathers’ first-ever appearance against Cincinnati.

Lamet was joined on the injured list Wednesday by fellow starter Blake Snell, who was scratched just before his scheduled Tuesday start due to feeling “a little bit under the weather,” according to Tingler.

Taking Snell’s spot on the roster was right-hander Miguel Diaz, who was recalled from Triple-A El Paso two days after being optioned. Diaz has a 2.55 ERA in 24 2/3 innings this season with San Diego.

The Reds will counter with the hottest pitcher in their rotation as Luis Castillo (3-10, 5.14) gets the call in the series finale. The right-hander finished June with a 2-2 record and a 1.71 ERA in five starts.

In his most recent start, Castillo allowed just six hits over seven shutout innings last Saturday in a 4-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. After stellar seasons in 2019 and 2020, Castillo was considered the Cincinnati ace entering this season before starting the first two months 1-8 with a 7.22 ERA in 11 starts, including seven straight losses in seven straight starts.

“I feel like I’ve gotten back to where I was beforehand,” Castillo said after Saturday’s win, via an interpreter. “The results are showing up.”

He allowed six hits and two walks with six strikeouts while throwing 106 pitches against Atlanta. It was the latest fine outing for Castillo in June: Over five starts in the month, he was 2-2 with a 1.71 ERA. One of the losses was to the Padres in a 3-2 game on June 20. Castillo surrendered three runs (two earned) in six innings.

“He is electric,” Reds left fielder Jesse Winker said. “Every time he touches the ball, we walk onto the field feeling we are going to win the game. It was amazing to watch him go out there, compete … and really pitch another outstanding game. It’s been really fun to watch him. He has been outstanding.”

Outfielder Tyler Naquin missed his third straight game Wednesday with right-wrist soreness and hasn’t started since Saturday against Atlanta.

–Field Level Media

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