Padres eye lift from Eckstein, Blanco

Padres eye lift from Eckstein, Blanco

WASHINGTON -- The Padres can't get July over fast enough, although they still have some work to do before turning the page to August and starting anew after a miserable month.

The Padres, who are 4-19 in July, open a four-game series in Cincinnati on Monday before closing the month with a home game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Could the Padres be in line for the worst month in franchise history?

The Padres went 5-22 for a winning percentage of .185 in August 1969, their first season. The team will have to finish fast to avoid its worst July on record. That same 1969 team went 7-19 in July for a winning percentage of .269.

The Padres will get some good news this week when veteran second baseman David Eckstein (strained right hamstring) and veteran catcher Henry Blanco (also a strained right hamstring) come off the disabled list.

Eckstein missed his 18th consecutive game Sunday and Blanco missed his 19th game because of the injury. Eckstein, who was hitting .269 at the time of his injury, figures to boost an offense that has average about a run less a game with him on the DL.

Blanco wasn't hitting much (.218, four home runs) but has earned rave reviews from the Padres' pitchers and the staff for the way he calls a game.

San Diego will likely dispatch an outfielder to Triple-A Portland to make room for Eckstein and will certainly send rookie catcher Josh Lobaton to the Minor Leagues when Blanco comes off the disabled list.

The Padres are 3-0 against the Reds this season, having won twice in May at PETCO Park. Kevin Correia and injured pitcher Jake Peavy each earned victories in their starts. The third victory was earned by Luis Perdomo in a game that lasted 16 innings.

Pitching matchup
SD: RHP Josh Geer (1-6, 5.84 ERA)
Geer did what he was trained to do in his previous start -- giving his team a good chance to secure a win. Geer tossed six innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out four and walked one in his eighth quality start this season. But it wasn't enough for the Padres, who delivered just three hits and no run support for Geer in a 5-0 loss to the Marlins. Geer said he couldn't let the Padres' hitting struggles affect how he viewed his outing. "I felt really good today," he said. "I was keeping it down in the zone."

CIN: RHP Homer Bailey (1-2, 7.63 ERA)
Lasting only 2 2/3 innings in a 12-3 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday, Bailey gave up nine runs, six of them earned, on eight hits with two walks and no strikeouts. He was trailing, 4-1, after two innings and 9-1 when he exited. He lost his command in a five-run bottom third, in which he gave up two hits, walked two, hit a batter and threw two wild pitches. Since returning to the Reds' rotation on June 27, Bailey has a 6.84 ERA.

The Padres' 13-1 loss to the Nationals on Saturday -- a game delayed by rain for three hours and 11 minutes -- wasn't a complete loss. The Padres' relief crew of Perdomo, Mike Ekstrom, Joe Thatcher and Edward Mujica combined for 14 strikeouts in relief of Tim Stauffer. That set a new club record for strikeouts by relievers in a single game. The previous mark of 13 was set on Aug. 20, 1980, and June 7 of this season, though the latter game, against Arizona, last 18 innings. ... Adrian Gonzalez went into Sunday's game in Washington tied with Albert Pujols for the Major League lead for most home runs on the road with 16. ... Val Pascucci had two homers and five RBIs and Seth Johnston hit a two-run homer in his first Triple-A game as Triple-A Portland defeated Salt Lake on the road, 8-3, on Saturday.

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• 4 San Diego

On radio
• XPRS 1090, XEMO 860 (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Padres (Kevin Correia, 6-8, 4.84) at Reds (TBD), 4:10 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Padres (Mat Latos, 1-1, 3.72) at Reds (Aaron Harang, 5-11, 4.25), 4:10 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Padres (Tim Stauffer, 0-2, 3.21) at Reds (Johnny Cueto, 8-7, 3.78), 9:35 a.m. PT

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.