|Castillo looks to rebound as Reds seek series win vs. Padres|
While it's been a special season for the Cincinnati Reds' Luis Castillo, the talented hurler has shown his mortal side of late.
The 26-year-old right-hander looks to bounce back from the roughest outing his career on Wednesday when the Reds try to take their three-game series from the visiting San Diego Padres.
Castillo (11-5) has already set a career high for wins and boasts a strong 3.10 ERA during his All-Star 2019 campaign. However, the Cincinnati ace was roughed up at home Friday night when he allowed a career-worst eight runs -- seven of which came off three homers -- and nine hits in Reds' 13-4 loss to St. Louis.
"Everybody is going to have a night like that," manager David Bell said. "And, he's been pitching so well. It looked to me like he was missing over the middle of the plate a little bit and they were ready for it."
While that appeared to be the consensus from the Reds' staff, Castillo knew he did not do himself any favors by falling behind in the count to several Cardinals' hitters.
"You just have to throw pitches around the zone for the hitters to swing, and you work the count again," said Castillo, who is 2-2 with a 6.00 ERA in five starts since July 26.
"I think that happened with the (three) homers, like 3-0, I have to throw the ball over the plate."
Castillo was quite strong, however, in giving up only an Eric Hosmer solo homer, three other hits and striking out nine with a walk in six innings of Cincinnati's 4-2 win at San Diego on April 20.
In four career starts against the Padres, Castillo is 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA.
He follows another strong effort from teammate Sonny Gray, who allowed only Josh Naylor's solo homer on Tuesday and struck out 10 in six innings as the Reds evened the series with a 3-2 victory. Despite his scoreless-innings streak ending at 23, Gray earned his fourth consecutive winning decision.
Ex-Padre Freddy Galvis homered for the second time in as many nights, an opposite-field, two-run shot in the sixth to put the Reds up 3-1. Acquired off waivers on Aug. 12 after being released by Toronto, Galvis is batting .414 (12-for-29) with three home runs and six RBIs in eight games with Cincinnati.
Naylor and Manny Machado each had two hits Tuesday for the Padres, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Naylor, a rookie, is 6-for-16 with three RBIs on a six-game trip that began with San Diego taking two of three at Philadelphia.
"Really good at-bats from a young kid against a very good pitcher (in Gray on Tuesday)," San Diego manager Andy Green said of Naylor.
Padres left-handed reliever Matt Strahm (5-8, 5.21 ERA) is slated to serve as an opener on Wednesday in what essentially will be a bullpen game for the visitors. San Diego relievers have allowed one run and struck out 19 over their past 13 innings.
Strahm went 3-7 with a 5.42 ERA in 15 starts this season before being sent to the bullpen in early July. Perhaps his best start of 2019 came against the Reds on April 19, when he allowed a solo homer to Eugenio Suarez and one other hit over eight innings of a 3-2, 11-inning home loss.
Strahm is 0-1 with a 1.74 ERA in two appearances (one start) against the Reds.
--Field Level Media