CINCINNATI — Joey Votto ended his two-month homer drought with Cincinnati’s 11th grand slam — one shy of the NL record — and the Reds beat the San Diego Padres 7-2 on Saturday in a game called because of rain in the top of the seventh inning.
The game started an hour early because of a foreboding forecast and was played in a steady rain that intensified with one out in the top of the seventh.
Votto connected off Robbie Erlin (3-6) during a seven-run second inning, his first homer since July 9 — the second-longest drought of his career. Votto had gone 36 games without a homer, not counting his long ball in the All-Star Game. He spent time on the disabled list with a sore knee during the span.
It was Votto’s second grand slam this season and the fourth of his career. Scott Schebler’s slam during a 12-6 win on Friday night set a franchise record of 10 in a season. The NL mark is 12 and the major league record is 14.
Erlin went three innings and gave up eight hits and seven runs, all in the second inning.
Matt Harvey (7-8) allowed Eric Hosmer’s two-run homer and escaped a bases-loaded threat in the fourth. He fanned 10 in six innings, his highest strikeout total since he fanned 10 at San Diego on May 8, 2016, and his ERA rose to 4.87.
The teams were willing to move up the start time to squeeze in a game with unrelenting rain in the forecast through Sunday. A rainout would force the Padres to fly back from San Francisco on Sept. 27 for a makeup game between last-place teams, and then fly home to finish the season.
Sunday’s game was pushed back three hours to 4:10 p.m., when rain is forecast to ease.
“We would love, love, love to get these games in here the next couple days,” manager Andy Green said. “I think we’re all in the same boat here. I think everybody was willing to jump to give us that chance.”
The teams were coming off little rest. The Reds’ 12-6 win ended at 12:09 a.m. on Saturday because of a 2-hour, 37-minute rain delay. Green had given his players a later reporting time for Saturday’s game, so the biggest challenge was contacting all the players to get to the ballpark earlier than planned.
Reds: Scooter Gennett was out of the lineup with a sore right thigh. He missed Thursday’s game and went 0 for 5 on Friday.
Padres: Jacob Nix (2-3) is to make his sixth career start. He gave up five runs — matching his career high — during a 7-3 loss to Colorado last Sunday.
Reds: Tyler Mahle (7-9) is slated for his first start since being called up from Triple-A. Mahle gave up six runs and lasted only 1 2/3 innings of a 10-4 loss to Washington on Aug. 2, prompting the demotion.
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