Reds 6, Padres 4: Ryan Ludwick homered and drove in four runs for the second straight game and Cincinnati's beefed-up bullpen locked down a second consecutive win over visiting San Diego with three scoreless innings.
Ludwick gave the Reds the lead twice, capping a three-run first inning with a two-run blast into the left-field seats and making it 5-4 with an RBI single to right in the fifth. He added another RBI single in the seventh.
Bronson Arroyo (7-6) allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings for the Reds, who have taken two of three in the series and will send ace right-hander Johnny Cueto to the mound against Ross Ohlendorf in Thursday's finale. Cincinnati has won 16 of 19 since the All-Star break and 19 of 22 overall, and has the best record in the majors at 63-41.
Arroyo has won four of his last five starts. The Reds' loaded bullpen ensured that, as Sean Marshall worked a perfect seventh, Jonathan Broxton pitched a 1-2-3 eighth in his Cincinnati debut and Aroldis Chapman worked around a two-out double in the ninth for his 23rd save.
Chase Headley drove in three of San Diego's runs, belting his career-high 13th home run - a two-run shot in the first - and adding an RBI single in the fourth.
Zack Cozart led off the bottom of the first with a homer for the Reds - his 11th of the season and the third leadoff homer of his career.
Padres starter Kip Wells (2-4) allowed five runs on five hits and walked four in 4 1/3 innings.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Reds C Devin Mesoraco was suspended three games for making contact with home plate umpire Chad Fairchild on Monday. Mesoraco will appeal the suspension, but he was placed on the seven-day concussion DL later in the day. … Ludwick has six home runs and 20 RBIs in 15 games since 1B Joey Votto went on the disabled list. … Reds INF Wilson Valdez left the game with a stiff neck. The Reds already are without Votto and 2B Brandon Phillips, who sat out with a strained left calf. … Cincinnati has hit 14 home runs in its past five games and ranks second in the National League with 120. … Wells dropped to 2-12 all-time against the Reds.