Bruce hits 2 homers as Reds blank Padres

Bruce hits 2 homers as Reds blank Padres

CINCINNATI -- Jay Bruce hit two home runs for four RBIs and Johnny Cueto pitched seven dominant innings to lead the Reds to a 4-0 victory over the Padres on Sunday at Great American Ball Park.

"It feels great," Bruce said. "I don't want to discount or take anything away from what Cueto and the other pitchers did today, but it was good to help the team win a game."

Cueto was impressive with nine strikeouts in his second outing since returning from right elbow stiffness that caused him to miss one start. Cueto gave up four hits and walked two batters for his first win in his last four starts.

"He's really tough to square up," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We didn't hit a lot of balls hard."

Odrisamer Despaigne gave up four earned runs on nine hits in six innings. Both of Bruce's home runs came off Despaigne, who has given up eight home runs in 12 appearances for the Padres.

Bruce goes deep twice: Bruce gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the second inning when he sent an 0-1 pitch deep into the right-field seats, snapping a streak of 55 at-bats without a home run that dated back to May 17. Bruce would then add to the Reds' lead with a three-run home run to right field in the sixth, making it 4-0. It was Bruce's first multihomer game of the season. More >

"He works hard," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He deserves to have success and he had a lot of success in the past, and I think this hopefully is a sign."

Bruce's solo blast

Good with the glove: Despaigne worked out of a tight spot in the fifth inning. With a runner on third base and one out, he fielded a ball by Billy Hamilton and tagged out Skip Schumaker in a rundown between home and third base to keep the score 1-0.

Despaigne tags out Schumaker

Hoover gets easy 1-2-3 eighth inning: J.J. Hoover came in to relieve Cueto and retired all three of the batters he faced. Hoover got a pair of pop outs and one groundout for an easy nine-pitch inning.

"Most importantly I just wanted to help get Johnny that win, the team the win," Hoover said. "The offense put up some runs and we needed to kind of nail down the door today."

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"That was pretty much my plan, to go up on him. I guess he made an adjustment and got on top of it, so you've got to give credit to the guy." -- Despaigne, on the two home runs he allowed to Bruce

Despaigne makes his living with his right arm. He was 0-for-30 for his career at the plate before collecting his first hit on April 20. He had a double on Sunday against Cueto for just his second career hit. He's now 2-for-41 with 16 strikeouts. Turnabout is fair play, right? In the sixth inning, Cueto singled off Despaigne.

Despaigne's first double

Padres: The Padres open a four-game series against the Braves at 4:10 p.m. PT on Monday at Turner Field. Ian Kennedy (3-5, 6.60 ERA) gets the start. Kennedy allowed one run in five innings against the Braves on Aug. 2, 2014, at Petco Park.

Reds: The Reds host the Phillies in the first tilt of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Mike Leake (2-4, 4.40 ERA) makes his 12th start of the season. Leake carried a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings and a shutout through eight innings in his start last week against the Phillies.

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Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.