Cincinnati has lost six of its last eight games and will turn to its prized trade deadline acquisition to start a three-game series off on the right foot against the visiting San Diego Padres on Monday night.
The righty Bauer (10-9, 4.12 ERA) will face the Padres and left-hander Eric Lauer (6-8, 4.55).
Bauer uncharacteristically allowed nine earned runs over 4 1/3 innings on Wednesday in a 17-7 drubbing at the hands of the Nationals in Washington. Obtained by the Reds on July 31, Bauer admitted he had little control of his six pitches as the red-hot National League East club battered his offerings around Nationals Park.
In fact, his arrival in Cincinnati via the Cleveland Indians hasn't gone as expected.
Since the trade, the 28-year-old Bauer has turned in poor results in two of his three starts, giving up a combined 15 hits and 12 earned runs against the Nationals (loss) and the Atlanta Braves (no-decision).
Sandwiched in between was a strong performance in a seven-inning outing in his home debut against the Chicago Cubs in which he yielded just three hits and one earned run while striking out 11.
"I think early on he was still searching just a little bit," Reds manager David Bell said of Bauer's showing in the 5-2 victory on Aug. 9. "Then he got into a great groove. He was certainly just as strong at the end as he was in the beginning of the game. It's a great sign."
Bauer, who will pitch against San Diego for the first time this season, is 0-3 with a lofty 6.28 ERA in three career starts against the Padres, with batters hitting .348 against him.
San Diego is trying to get accustomed to playing without flashy shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., and the team needs other players in the lineup to step up and tighten the slack. Putting together an incredible rookie season, Tatis (back) has been sidelined since early last week.
Light-hitting catcher Austin Hedges made a big contribution in Sunday's 3-2 win in Philadelphia as the Padres won two of three from the Phillies.
Hitting just .197, Hedges went a career-best 4-for-4 and stroked a go-ahead homer on his 27th birthday as the Padres won for the third time in four games.
"It was awesome. Just getting a win and winning the series was a good enough birthday present for me," Hedges said. "(Phillies reliever Jared Hughes) gave me a mistake and I was glad I could put a good swing on it."
Lauer has one start under his belt against Cincinnati this season, taking the loss after a five-inning outing yielded three runs (two earned) for the Reds in their 4-2 win in San Diego on April 20.
In three career starts against Cincinnati, Lauer is 1-1 with a sterling 1.93 ERA, and Reds batters are hitting at just a .219 clip.
--Field Level Media