One semi-positive thing about the current Cincinnati Reds string of setbacks was that they had not been shut out.
Scratch that from the list.
The Reds ninth straight loss was, indeed, a 6-0 blanking Wednesday afternoon in Petco Park.
The nine straight losses includes seven straight setbacks on the just concluded west-coast trip, four in Los Angeles and three in San Diego.
The Reds, now 2-11, were outscored 41-10 and never scored more than three runs, and they scored three just once.
And Petco Park is a House of Horrors for the Reds. They’ve lost eight straight in the downtown baseball palace and are 8-21 there since 2013.
Cincinnati starter Vladimir Gutierrez (0-3) gave up only two hits in 4 2/3 innings, but one was a two-run home run by Jurickson Profar in the fourth inning.
And it appeared as if Gutierrez might escape the fourth with no damage after he began the inning by hitting Manny Machado with a pitch and walking Jake Cronenworth. Eric Hosmer hit into a double play and Gutierrez was one out from keeping it 0-0. But Profar lashed one over the rightl field wall, his fourth home run and a 2-0 Padres lead.
The Padres made it 3-0 in the fifth when Gutierrez once again hit the first batter of the inning, catcher Jorge Alfaro.
Alfaro stole second and scored on Trent Grisham’s two-out single.
The deficit climbed to 4-0 in the seventh when No. 9 hitter Ha-Seong Kim cleared the center-field wall for a home run off Buck Farmer, Kim’s first home run.
San Diego safely tucked away the game with two more runs in the eighth off Hunter Strickland.
The Reds were baffled for five innings by rookie left-hander MacKenzie Gore, making his second major league start.
Gore was San Diego’s No. 1 pick in 2017, third overall right behind the Reds’ Hunter Greene.
Gore, wearing uniform No. 1, unusual for a pitcher, gave up four hits while walking two and striking out seven for his five innings.
Gore was followed by Steven Wilson, Pierce Johnson, Luis Garcia and Dinelson Lamet. The Reds had only one hit the final four innings against the San Diego bullpen. And they struck out 13 times.
Before the game, Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson was placed on the seven-day concussion protocol list.
Stephenson was knocked out of Tuesday’s game on a home-plate collision in the first inning. San Diego first baseman Luke Voit tried to score from first base on a ball hit into the left field corner.
As Voit slid home, his right forearm slammed into Stephenson’s masked face and he was removed from the game.
Several Reds thought it was a dirty slide and some expected retaliation Wednesday. But Voit was not in the lineup.
Nevertheless, Gutierrez hit two Padres batters, although neither seemed intentional, and both runners scored runs.
The Reds put two runners on base with two outs in the first, but Nick Senzel, back in the lineup after eight days out with illness, lined to right.
The Reds put two on in the fourth with two outs and Colin Moran singled to left. But Joey Votto, trying to score from second, was thrown out.
Cincinnati put a runner on base in each of the fifth and seventh innings and both stayed put.
Only three Reds runners were in scoring position, and it produced only one hit, Moran’s single on which Votto was erased at home. The Reds stranded six runners.
And the defensive-minded Padres played their 14th straight game without an error, a major-league record for a team to start a season errorless.
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