(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Diego Padres have their sights set on a three- game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds when the two ballclubs close out their series Wednesday afternoon at Petco Park.
The Padres have won three in a row and recorded an 8-2 triumph in Tuesday's middle test of this set. Ian Kennedy pitched six innings of one-run ball and struck out five for the win, while Carlos Quentin belted a two-run homer during a four-run seventh inning.
Quentin had three RBI and Seth Smith ended 3-for-4 with a home run and three runs scored for San Diego, which is 3-2 on a nine-game homestand and 26-0 when leading after seven innings.
"The bats came alive. We had good at-bats from a number of guys," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It was great."
San Diego will host San Francisco next for three games.
Tyson Ross went winless in June with an 0-4 mark and a 3.94 earned run average in five starts. Ross hopes to start July on a positive note when he takes the ball for San Diego Wednesday. Ross allowed two runs in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to Arizona on Friday and fell to 6-8 with a 3.18 ERA.
Ross, who is 1-5 in his last six decisions, has struck out at least seven batters nine times this season. The Padres scored just one run for Ross last month and the right-hander has a 3-5 record in nine home outings.
In three career games (2 starts) against the Reds, Ross is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA. He threw seven innings of one-run ball in a 6-1 win at Cincinnati on May 15.
Cincinnati had won five straight series and now looks to salvage this set with the Padres. The Reds are 6-3 on a 10-game road trip and starting pitcher Mike Leake was dealt the loss for allowing three runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Devin Mesoraco homered for the Reds, who had won five straight before this series.
"We haven't played for two games. We haven't been our best by any means," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It wasn't a really well-played game."
The Reds will return home tonight for 11 games versus Milwaukee, Chicago (Cubs) and Pittsburgh.
Cincinnati has won each of Johnny Cueto's last four starts and he gets the nod Wednesday. Cueto is 3-0 with a 1.59 earned run average in that time and is coming off Friday's 6-2 win at San Francisco in which he delivered 8 1/3 innings of two-run ball and scattered four hits.
Cueto is 8-5 overall with an MLB-best 1.88 ERA and hasn't lost since June 6 versus Philadelphia. The right-hander is 3-2 in eight road starts and 3-2 with a 4.62 ERA in six career starts against the Padres.
Cueto defeated San Diego at home on May 15 with a three-hit shutout in a 5-0 decision. He posted eight strikeouts and two walks.
The Padres defeated the Reds twice in three tries back in mid-May and the two clubs split six meetings a season ago.