Cincinnati arrived in San Diego tied for first place in the NL Central on Friday partly because their 13 road wins were more than anybody else in the majors. The Reds left San Diego stuck on 13 road wins.
It was the first time all season Dusty Baker's surprisingly competitive club lost three in a row, but what's more of a concern as they head into Monday's off day before opening a nine-game homestand Tuesday against Philadelphia is the health of slugger Joey Votto and starter Edinson Volquez.
Both will be examined on Monday in Cincinnati.
• Volquez left Saturday's 16-inning marathon in the sixth inning with back spasms. He came up stiff the other day, according to Baker, when he missed a step at home.
"Old guys go one step at a time," Baker said. "Young guys skip steps, and he skipped one and landed funny."
• The travails of Votto, who left Saturday night's game with dizziness, are more mysterious.
Votto now has missed six starts since May 7 with the flu and left two other games with dizziness. Votto, who did not play Sunday, just shook his head and expressed frustration at an illness that nobody seems quite able to diagnose or cure.
"You don't know whether to be concerned about it because you don't know what it is," Baker said. "You're concerned about it. You just don't know how concerned to be.
"Something has to be wrong for this guy to not play, or to come out of the lineup. This guy's a gamer, big-time."
Votto has five homers, 27 RBI and a .470 on-base percentage this season, and it's probably no coincidence that when the Reds finally dropped a third consecutive game for the first time this season, it came with Votto watching from the bench.
"He's our big man in the middle," Baker said. "Right now, we're hoping he's OK and we get him back."
Likes: Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley to Chris Jenkins in the San Diego Union-Tribune last week: "I don't really play the game. I feel it." ... Glad to see Cincinnati winning -- at least, until this weekend. That is one terrific baseball town, and it would be fun to see it come back to life during a stretch run. ... Cal Ripken Jr. wanting answers from Alex Rodriguez on the steroids stuff. ... Baskin-Robbins ice cream cakes for birthdays.
Dislikes: Jim Joyce is a good umpire, but Saturday's 16-inning marathon between the Reds and Padres was not his finest moment. Reds reliever David Weathers was badly squeezed. Had a few of those pitches been called strikes, as they should have been, the game would have ended in nine innings. Then, in the 12th and 13th innings, suddenly Joyce was calling everything strike -- including several pitches way more out of the zone than Weathers'. ... Finally finished Selena Roberts' A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez. The highlight was her breaking the story that A-Rod was a user last February. The rest? This book will be on the $4 shelves by Christmas.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"So the great affair is over
"But whoever would have guessed
"It would leave us all so vacant
"And so deeply unimpressed
"It’s like our visit to the moon or to that other star
"I guess you go for nothing if you really want to go that far"
--Leonard Cohen, "Death of a Ladies' Man