The Cincinnati Reds never enjoyed a winning streak like this when Edinson Volquez pitched for them.
The Reds can win 11 in a row for the first time in 55 years Monday night when Volquez returns to Cincinnati with the San Diego Padres in the opener of a four-game set.
Cincinnati (61-40) is seeking its first 11-game run since the 1957 team won 12 straight April 30-May 12. The Reds are tied with NL East leader Washington for baseball’s best record.
They never won more than seven in a row the last four years with Volquez (6-7, 3.30 ERA), who was traded to San Diego (43-60) in December as part of the Mat Latos deal. Those were the pitchers July 5 when the Reds got their first look at Volquez at Petco Park.
The right-hander yielded one run over seven innings with a season-high 10 strikeouts and did not get a decision in the Padres’ 2-1 victory. Volquez is 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA in his last six starts, giving up two runs over seven innings Tuesday in a 3-2 defeat at San Francisco.
Volquez went 14-9 with a 4.38 ERA at Great American Ball Park with the Reds. His run support average of 2.59 is the worst for any starter.
The Reds should be up for the challenge of facing him, winning 17 of 19 since they first saw him and taking the final three contests of that series at Petco from July 5-8. They outhomered the Padres 7-2 in that set, and their starters went 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA.
Mike Leake (4-6, 4.12) was the lone Reds starter not to pitch in that series as he heads into his first career outing against his hometown team. The San Diego-born right-hander has been pitching better after some early struggles, going 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in his last seven starts.
Leake allowed two runs over eight innings Tuesday to earn a 4-2 victory at Houston. He has failed to receive a decision in his last six home outings.
Cincinnati capped a 6-0 road trip with Sunday’s 7-2 win over Colorado. Second baseman Brandon Phillips left in the fifth inning with cramping in his left calf but said he should be fine.
“I’m all right. The knot is still there but I’ll be OK,” he said. “People were saying it was the altitude, the dry heat, I didn’t drink enough water or something. I’m ready to play (Monday). I think I’m going to play.”
Center fielder Drew Stubbs went 10 for 27 with three homers and 10 RBIs on the trip.
Padres slugger Yonder Alonso also returns to Cincinnati after going west with Latos. Alonso went 5 for 13 with a homer and five RBIs over the weekend as the Padres lost two of three in Miami.
“He’s had some nice stretches,” manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official website. “This was a good series for him, so let’s hope he continues that into Cincinnati.”
The Reds have won 11 of 13 without injured star Joey Votto, who is eligible to return off the disabled list Tuesday but won’t be back in this series.