It’s a simple equation.
2 + 4 = 1.
Alright I know at first glance, it may look like fuzzy math. But it proved to be a winning formula for the Padres Thursday as they defeated the Reds 7-4 in Cincinnati.
Two home runs plus four scoreless innings by the bullpen equaled one solid San Diego victory.
The winning ingredients started to emerge in the 4th inning. The Padres trailed 4-1 when Matt Kemp got a hold of one against Reds starter John Lamb.
His 16th homer of the season cut the deficit to 4-2 and gave the road team some life.
Then in the top of the 6th, Derek Norris stepped up to the plate and crushed a 3-run bomb to give the Padres the lead for good. His 10th long ball of the year made it 6-4 San Diego and the bullpen took it from there.
Brad Hand, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter each pitched a scoreless inning to bridge the gap to Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning. The right-hander finished off the Reds for his 16th save in 16 chances.
San Diego starter Christian Friedrich earned the win and improved to 4-2. He allowed four earned runs over the course of five innings but was helped out by the two big blasts by Kemp and Norris.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon would probably appreciate the concept of 2 + 4 = 1.
When Maddon was still leaning on the railing of the Tampa Bay Rays dugout, he famously decreed “9 = 8” back in 2008.
That mantra represented nine men playing together for the common goal of being one of the eight elite teams to make the playoffs.
The Rays made the postseason for the first time that season and ultimately lost in the World Series to Rancho Bernardo product Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Rodney spent two seasons in Tampa with Maddon in 2012 and 2013 and was named an All-Star for the first time in his career under Maddon’s leadership.
With a strong start to the season, Rodney is in the conversation to represent the Padres in the upcoming All-Star Game here in San Diego.
Colin Rea gets the nod Friday in Cincinnati while the Reds send Cody Reed to the hill. First pitch is slated for 4:10 p.m.