For the second consecutive night, the Giants scored first with a run in the first inning, only to lose on a solo home run in the eighth inning, by identical 4-3 scores.
Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision, although Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto outdueled Giants starter Tim Lincecum. Cueto went seven innings, allowing five hits, three walks and two runs, while striking out nine. Lincecum on the other hand struggled with his control all night, going just 4 2/3 innings and giving up five hits, five walks and three runs, while striking out four.
Lincecum has not pitched well in his career against the Reds, entering the contest with an 0-4 lifetime record and unsightly ERA of 9.26. Despite his struggles with his footing on the mound and his control, he actually was able to work out of trouble and shut out the Reds for the first three innings, extending his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 18. However in the fourth, the Reds broke through for a run to close the gap to 2-1, then pushed two runs across in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. After 99 pitches, Timmy was removed with two outs in the fifth. “He stumbled a couple times; we’ve seen him do that, though,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “This hasn’t been a real good place for him anyway.”
Angel Pagan got Lincecum off the hook for the decision in the eighth, singling in Joe Panik who had tripled, to tie the game. Prior to Panik’s triple Andrew Susak had walked, but was picked off of first base. Otherwise, it could have been a bigger inning for the G-men with possibly a different outcome.
Sergio Romo gave up a solo home run to Marlon Byrd in the bottom of the eighth, after recording the first out. The home run would prove to be the game winner.
The Giants didn’t muster much offense, totaling just seven hits on the night, going 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position, leaving five men on base. Gregor Blanco went 2 for 2, including a double and a walk and two runs scored. Panik went 1 for 3, including a triple, scoring the tying run in the eighth. Pagan also went 1 for 3, with a walk and RBI.
With their second consecutive loss on this road trip, the Giants fell to 17-18 on the year, but fortunately remain 5 1/2 games behind the first place Dodgers who also lost for the second consecutive game.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner will be on the mound tonight, tryng to get the Giants back on the winning track, while evening the series and their record for the season. MadBum brings a 3-2 record and 3.30 ERA into the game and will be opposed by Reds starter Jason Marquis, also with a 3-2 record, but a 5.66 ERA. Like Timmy, MadBum has struggled against the Reds in his career, with a 2-4 record and 5.05 ERA in seven starts. The Reds have now won 12 of their last 15 against the G-men at Great American Ball Park. Time for MadBum to put a stop to the trend.