A strong battle by Ryan Vogelsong and home runs – one a bit more expected than the other – helped the Giants come back and take a 3-2 win against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday afternoon.
Vogelsong started a bit shaky but was able to hold the Reds scoreless up until the fifth inning. It was there that Todd Frazier hit a home run on a line drive to left field, his 11th of the season. Consecutive doubles from Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce put one more run on the board for Cincinnati, but that was the last Red that would cross home plate.
“I wasn’t really upset about any of my pitches except one [to Phillips],” said Vogelsong. “I just kept doing what I was doing.”
In spite of the hiccup, Vogelsong bounced back in the next inning, striking out Frazier as well as holding the Reds to those two runs on the night. He finished 6.1 innings for the Giants, allowing seven hits while walking one and striking out nine. The nine punchouts marked a new career high for Vogelsong, who has now logged at least six innings of work in his last seven outings. Frazier’s home run was just the second blast Vogelsong has given up in that time.
San Francisco’s offense pushed across just enough support to give Vogelsong the win, continuing their current trend of two-out scoring. The twelfth home run off the bat of Michael Morse got things started in the sixth inning, and the power that followed may not have been quite as expected. After Brandon Hicks singled to keep the inning going, Juan Perez knocked his first home run of the season out of the park to give the Giants the lead.
Perez had just one hit in his 21 at-bats this season, so today’s 2-for-4 outing with a double and home run was a nice change for the outfielder. Perez was brought up on Saturday after Matt Cain was placed on the disabled list, and made the most of his opportunity to start.
The Giants’ clutch hitting with two outs has saved San Francisco in several instances this season. They lead the majors with 122 runs scored in this situation, making up nearly half of their runs all season.
The three runs in the sixth inning was able to secure a win for Vogelsong and the Giants, thanks to another strong outing from the bullpen. Juan Gutierrez, Javier Lopez, Jean Machi and Sergio Romo combined to pitch 2.2 shutout innings, keeping the Reds off the bases and continuing to show the importance of the Giants’ arms.
Set your alarms, because tomorrow, Madison Bumgarner will take the hill against the Reds for a early game in Cincinnati. May’s National League Pitcher of the Month is riding a five game win streak with a 2.08 in his last six starts. He’s been strong on the road so far; going 4-1 while allowing just 8 earned runs over 45.1 innings pitched this season. He’ll face Mike Leake, the righty who had a strong May as well. He recorded a 2.16 ERA in six starts, walking nine while striking out 30.
The Giants have not won a regular season series in Cincinnati since June 2010, and have taken just two of their last 13 games at Great American Ballpark. Bumgarner will look to change that before the Giants fly back to San Francisco for a ten-game homestand.
First pitch at 9:35am.