- Associated Press - Sunday, June 7, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) - Odrisamer Despaigne went up the ladder. Jay Bruce went over the fence.

Bruce homered twice to drive in all four runs and Johnny Cueto earned his first win in almost a month, leading the Cincinnati Reds over the San Diego Padres 4-0 Sunday.

Both of Bruce’s homers were on one-strike high fastballs, Despaigne said through interpreter and first base coach Jose Valentin.

“That was pretty much the plan,” Despaigne said. “I wanted to go up, especially if I got ahead. He made the adjustment. You’ve got to give credit to him.”

Cueto and relievers J.J. Hoover and Aroldis Chapman combined to retire the last 15 batters, helping the Reds avoid a sweep.

Cueto (4-4) gave up four hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking two. It was his first win since May 9.

Black considered it to be a vintage performance.

“It was typical Johnny Cueto,” Black said. “Good fastball command, throwing strikes with elevation and velocity, cutters in and out - just good stuff in the hitting area. It was tough to square off of him.”

“He didn’t totally handcuff us, but we weren’t able to hit a lot of balls hard. He’s a veteran pitcher who knows how to work out of trouble,” he said.

The right-hander made his second start since missing two outings because of inflammation in his pitching elbow. Last year, he became the Reds’ first 20-game winner since 19

Despaigne (3-4) lasted six innings. The Padres had won six straight over the Reds since May 2014.

Despaigne doubled for one of the Padres’ hits. San Diego was shut out for the 10th time this season.

Bruce led off the second with his eighth homer of the season and first in 17 games.

The Reds needed only four pitches to open up a 4-0 lead in the sixth. Joey Votto singled and went to third on Todd Frazier’s double into the right-field corner on Despaigne’s next pitch.

One strike later, Bruce lofted a 343-foot fly ball that bounced off the roof over the visitors’ bullpen down the right-field line for his first multihomer game of the season and 16th of his career.

Even with the homers, Black was pleased with what he saw from Despaigne.

“He threw the ball fine,” Black said. “He was victimized by a big-time power hitter who hit balls at the top of the zone or that might have been balls.”

UP WITH UPTON

After Sunday’s game, the Padres announced that they had optioned outfielder Abraham Almonte to Triple-A El Paso and activated from the disabled list OF Melvin Upton, who’s been sidelined all season with a left foot injury.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: RHP Brandon Morrow might be one more rehab start away from returning to the Padres, Black said. Morrow, on the disabled list since May 5 with right shoulder inflammation, was scheduled to start on Sunday for Double-A San Antonio.

Reds: Devin Mesoraco, unable to catch because squatting aggravates his hip impingement, is expected to report to Triple-A Louisville on Monday for the next step in his conversion to left field - actual game experience.

UP NEXT

Padres: After striking out a season-high eight while snapping his four-start losing streak in his last outing, RHP Ian Kennedy (3-5) pitches the opener of a four-game series in Atlanta on Monday.

Reds: After taking a no-hit bid two outs into the seventh inning of his last start at Philadelphia on June 3, RHP Mike Leake (2-4) starts the opener of a three-game home series against the Phillies on Monday.

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