Pena homered twice and drove in four runs, helping the Reds beat
the San Diego Padres 11-5 on Saturday night.
"I don't know how I feel," Pena said. "The more I play, the
more confidence I get."
Pena entered the season with a .219 career batting average, six
homers and 17 RBI in 93 games with the Reds. But Pena has gotten
increased playing time this season because of injuries to Ken
Griffey Jr., who is out for the season with a torn hamstring.
Pena is hitting .263 with 21 homers and 56 RBI this year.
"He's worked hard, to his credit," San Diego manager Bruce
Bochy said. "He's made himself into some kind of player. He's
turned himself into a dangerous hitter."
Pena and Darren Bragg hit home runs on back-to-back pitches from
Brian Lawrence to spark a six-run sixth inning that wiped out San
Diego's 5-2 lead. In the next inning, Pena followed Adam Dunn's
major league-leading 36th homer of the season with his 21st on
consecutive pitches from Rod Beck.
"Those were two big home runs for us," manager Dave Miley
said. "Everybody pitched in. That's what we've got to do."
Bragg, who just joined the Reds on Thursday, went 3-for-3 and
fell a triple short of the cycle against his former team. He was
1-for-11 coming in, including 1-for-7 in nine games with the
San Diego was knocked out of a share of the NL wild-card lead
with the loss and Chicago's victory over Los Angeles earlier in the
day. The Padres remain 6½ games behind the Dodgers in the West.
"We got some runs early," Bochy said. "They kept it close
enough. They got the big inning and we didn't."
San Diego led 5-2 in the sixth when Pena followed inning-opening
singles by Sean Casey and Dunn with his 20th homer. Bragg hit
Lawrence's next pitch into the right-field bleachers to give the
Reds a 6-5 lead.
"He was doing pretty good," Bochy said. "He was pitching
well. You have confidence that he'll get a groundball there. He
hung a slider to Wily Mo, but it's just a tie game. The big inning
Lawrence (11-10) gave up a season-high six runs and matched his
season high by allowing 10 hits. He didn't walk anybody and had
four strikeouts while losing his third consecutive start and
suffering his fifth loss in six decisions over seven starts.
"Two singles and a home run," Lawrence said. "Casey's was a
ball that wasn't hit particularly hard but found a hole. Pena hit a
slider. I didn't want to throw it outside so he could get his arms
extended. I left it up. It hung a little. It was one of those
The Reds, who matched their season high with 16 hits, added an
unearned run on two Padres errors in the eighth inning.
Reds right-hander Paul Wilson was placed on the 15-day
disabled list with lower back soreness, and RHP Joe Valentine was
recalled from Triple-A Louisville. ... Acevedo's start was his
first since Aug. 4. He'd been skipped over because of inconsistency
and a schedule that allowed the Reds to go with a four-man rotation
... Lopez's double extended his career-high hitting streak to nine
games ... Padres catcher Ramon Hernandez flew to San Diego on
Saturday after his wife went into labor ... San Diego second
baseman Mark Loretta celebrated his 33rd birthday Saturday.