|9:35 AM PT10:35 AM MT11:35 AM CT12:35 PM ET12:35 ET16:35 GMT0:35 9:35 AM MST11:35 AM EST12:05 PM VEN20:35 UAE11:35 AM CT, August 10, 2017
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio Attendance: 14,915
Padres' Lamet looks to extend win streak vs. Reds
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CINCINNATI -- With a victory Thursday in the series finale against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park, right-hander Dinelson Lamet could become the first San Diego Padres pitcher with wins in four straight starts since Jesse Hahn in 2014.
Lamet (6-4, 5.12 ERA) has a 1.96 ERA during his three-game winning streak, and the key to his recent improvement might be the growing confidence in his slider.
"The slider's real," Padres manager Andy Green said, "and the willingness to throw it at any time. For the longest time, I think he saw it as a kill pitch. He was only going to throw it when he was ahead in the count when he wanted to put a hitter away."
The 25-year-old Dominican native now will throw his slider with a 1-0 count or 2-0. It brings him back into favorable counts and helps make his fastball more effective.
"It's a really good fastball, but major league hitters turn around a 95 mile per hour fastball when they know it's coming, so (the slider) is putting a little doubt in their heads," Green said. "It's a 50-50 mix, rather than a 70-30 mix before."
The Reds (47-67) are looking for improvement from right-hander Luis Castillo on Thursday afternoon. Castillo is making his 10th start of the season and first appearance against the Padres.
Last time out, Castillo (2-5, 3.64 ERA) tied a season high with five walks, and he gave up four runs (three earned) in 6 1/3 innings during a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. Four of his past six outings were quality starts.
"We're talking about a young guy who really looks like a big-league pitcher," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Castillo, who is one of three rookies in the Cincinnati rotation. "He is going to be vulnerable to the same things other young pitchers are vulnerable to. I'd like to see him bounce back and be sharp in his next outing."
Reds first baseman Joey Votto will be looking to extend his team-high hitting streak to 15 games. Votto is batting .477 (21-for-44) during his current streak.
The Padres hope their first baseman, Wil Myers, is breaking out of his slump. Myers snapped an 0-for-11 skid with a two-run homer, his 22nd home run of the season, in the sixth inning of San Diego's 8-3 loss to the Reds on Wednesday.
"I worked in the cage today, put the ball in play four times and didn't get punched out," Myers said after Wednesday's game. "I don't want to say I hit a home run so I'm out of this. That's happened a few times this past two months. I like what I did today. I made contact four times. Just go from there."
Cincinnati hasn't won a season series against San Diego (50-63) since 2012, and it won't this year with the Padres winning four of the first six meetings.
The Reds have a chance to take three of four in the current series, however. Since 2012, Cincinnati is 11-20 versus the Padres, including 8-17 the past four years. The Reds were swept in a three-game series at Petco Park in June.
Updated August 10, 2017