(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cincinnati Reds are the hottest team in baseball right now and look to continue their surge Monday in the opener of a three- game series against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
The Reds have won a season-high five in a row and are 14-4 since June 11. They swept the San Francisco Giants in four games this weekend and posted a 4-0 win Sunday behind a brilliant performance from starting pitcher Homer Bailey.
Bailey had a no-hitter broken up with two outs in the seventh inning and went the distance, scattering three hits, striking out seven and walking one.
"You can talk about a no-hitter all you want. I think the only time you should or can is after the game is completed," Bailey said. "I wasn't really thinking about it other than obnoxious fans who kept yelling at me about it."
Brayan Pena and Skip Schumaker had two hits and an RBI apiece for the Reds.
Cincinnati is 6-1 on its 10-game road trip and has won five straight series. It is 7-1-1 in the last nine series and even with St. Louis at 6 1/2 games off Milwaukee's lead in the NL Central.
The Reds will pin pitching duties on former Padre Mat Latos Monday and he will make his fourth start of the season since coming off the disabled list. Latos won his first game of the year in last Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field with seven innings of one-run ball and five strikeouts.
Latos rebounded from a rough start on June 20 versus Toronto, which reached the right-hander for five runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. Latos, who needs four K's for 800 in his career, has no record and a 1.38 ERA in two career starts against San Diego. Latos is 12-13 with a 2.99 ERA in 33 career starts at Petco Park.
San Diego's start of a nine-game homestand didn't go as planned, as the club dropped two of three meetings with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Padres managed to salvage the finale of the set with Sunday's 2-1 victory behind another strong start from Odrisamer Despaigne. Despaigne won his second major league appearance by holding the D-backs to one run in 6 2/3 innings.
"He keeps working his way through and is pretty composed with clear thinking," said Padres manager Bud Black. "This guy knows how to pitch."
Huston Street notched his 21st save, while Cameron Maybin and Alexi Amarista were each credited with an RBI for the Padres, who halted a three-game slide and won for the sixth time in 11 tries. They are 16-9 this season in games decided by one run.
San Diego will also entertain San Francisco on this homestand and hopes rookie Jesse Hahn can keep his winning streak intact when he takes the mound Monday. Hahn has won three starts in a row after losing his debut on June 3 and is coming off Tuesday's 7-2 win at the Giants in which he yielded just a pair of runs in six innings.
Hahn is 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA and has lasted at least six innings during his personal winning streak. The right-hander has a 1-1 mark in two home starts.
The Padres defeated the Reds twice in three tries back in mid-May and the two clubs split six meetings a season ago.