1969: Bench, Maloney Lead Reds Past Padres

April 25, 1969, San Diego: Reds 4, Padres 1 (box score)

The Reds, making their first visit to San Diego, sent right-hander Jim Maloney to the mound against Tommie Sisk. A Fresno native, Maloney had won 20 or more games in a season twice by age 25. In 1968, a down year by his standards, he still notched 16 victories.

The Reds scored first on a two-out single by Pete Rose in the top of the third inning. They added three more in the fourth. Bobby Tolan led off with a walk. After an Alex Johnson ground out, Tony Perez singled to left. With runners at the corners, a second-year catcher named Johnny Bench hammered his 19th career home run to extend the Reds’ lead to 4-0.

Maloney took care of the rest for Cincy. The Padres mounted minor threats in the fourth, fifth, and eighth, but couldn’t push anything across until Nate Colbert led off the ninth with a homer to left. Maloney then retired the next three batters, including strikeouts to Ed Spiezio and Chris Cannizzaro to end the contest.

The Padres, in front of 8,709 fans, saw their record fall to 6-11. Off the field, they traded Opening Day starter Dick Selma to the Cubs for right-handers Joe Niekro and Gary Ross, as well as shortstop Frankie Libran. In fact, Ross and Niekro both got into this game, working 3 2/3 perfect innings between them.

Trivia: Colbert’s ninth-inning homer was the second of his career and the second in as many days.

Elsewhere in the world: Baseball announcer Joe Buck was born in St. Petersburg, Fla.; actress Renee Zellweger was born in Katy, Tex.; actress Gina Torres (played Zoe in Firefly) was born in Manhattan, N.Y.

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