The Reds held a 4-3 series advantage against the Giants this season. Here’s how the games went:
Reds 9, Giants 2
April 24 at Great American Ball Park
WP: Latos (1-2); LP: Cain (1-1)
Matt Cain came into this game with a 1.88 ERA. Mat Latos entered with a 8.22 ERA. Yet, it was Latos getting the upper hand in what started as a pitchers’ dual and ended as a lopsided win. Cain had a quality start with 3 ER in 6.1 IP, with all runs surrendered via the long ball. Brandon Phillips belted a two-run shot in the first inning, and Ryan Ludwick added a solo shot in the seventh. Dan Otero relieved Cain in the seventh, and allowed the Reds to add five more runs in that inning and one more in the eighth. Meanwhile, Latos shut out the Giants on four hits and two walks in seven innings, fanning three. Buster Posey avoided the shutout with a two-run home run in the ninth.
Reds 4, Giants 2
April 25 at Great American Ball Park
WP: Arredondo (2-0); LP: Hensley (1-2)
For the second straight day, the bullpen stung Giants. The Giants pounded out nine hits off Bronson Arroyo in five innings, but only took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning after Angel Pagan homered in the third and the Giants added another run in the fourth on a Brandon Crawford single and error on Drew Stubbs. Barry Zito threw six shutout innings, giving up four hits and two walks, before giving up a leadoff homer to Scott Rolen in the seventh. Clay Hensley was called in from the bullpen and coughed up three more runs in the inning. Ryan Ludwick singled, Ryan Hanigan reached on an error by Hensley. After a pop out, a walk to Stubbs loaded the bases and a sac fly by Wilson Valdez tied the game. A wild pitch scored Hanigan with the go-ahead run and a double by Joey Votto made it 4-2.
Giants 6, Reds 5
April 26 at Great American Ball Park
WP: Lopez (2-0); LP: Marshall (0-2)
Angel Pagan was the big hero as the Giants avoided the sweep. The Giants were tied 2-2 through five innings as starter Ryan Vogelsong appeared headed to another quality start. But in the sixth, he gave up a two-run home run to Jay Bruce as the Giants trailed 4-2. After the Giants closed the gap to 4-3 in the top of the seventh, Scott Rolen’s homer in the bottom of the seventh made it 5-3 Reds. It stayed that way into the ninth when the Reds’ then-closer Sean Marshall came in. Joaquin Arias walked and Ryan Theriot singled. After a Brett Pill strikeout, Angel Pagan belted a three-run homer to left-center to put the Giants up 6-5. Santiago Casilla came in the bottom of the ninth and struck out Zach Cozart, Drew Stubbs and Joey Votto for the win.
Giants 5, Reds 0
June 28 at AT&T Park
WP: Bumgarner (10-4); LP: Cueto (9-4)
Madison Bumgarner was the star of this one, throwing a complete-game, one-hit shutout. It was the fourth consecutive shutout win by Giants pitching, coming on the heels a three shutouts of the Dodgers. The Giants got to Johnny Cueto early with a two-out rally in the first inning. With two out, Melky Cabrera walked and Buster Posey singled. Pagan singled to right to score Cabrera, and when Jay Bruce’s throw was off the mark, Posey scored for a 2-0 lead. Pablo Sandoval added an RBI double off Cueto in the sixth, and Gregor Blanco’s triple and Theriot’s single in the seventh off Sam LeCure made it 5-0.
Reds 5, Giants 1
June 29 at AT&T Park
WP: Leake (3-5); LP: Cain (9-3)
The Giants’ quest to pitch five shutout victories ended very quickly. Zach Cozart hit a home run off Matt Cain on the game’s first pitch. The Reds added two more runs in the first on Bruce’s two-run double. Cain settled in from there, but it didn’t matter much as the Giants could not muster much of anything off Leake, who would pitch a complete game. Sandoval’s home run in the ninth prevented the shutout.
Reds 2, Giants 1
June 30 at AT&T Park
WP: Latos (7-2); LP: Zito (6-6)
For a second straight day, a Reds pitcher threw a complete game as the Giants offense could get a run until the ninth inning. They wasted a nice outing from Zito, who held the Reds to one run on five hits over six innings. He did walk six batters, however. A bases-loaded walk — the third in a row by Zito — plated the Reds’ first run. They would plate another on a Miguel Cairo single off George Kontos in the seventh. The only offense the Giants had for eight innings was a Brandon Crawford double in the third inning. Brandon Belt’s one-out pinch-hit triple in the ninth was the Giants’ second hit. Belt scored on Gregor Blanco’s groundout.
Giants 4, Reds 3
July 1 at AT&T Park
WP: Casilla (2-3); LP: Arredondo (4-2)
For the second time this season, the Giants avoided dropping a third game in a row to the Reds with some ninth inning magic. The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the third on three consecutive two-out singles by Ryan Theriot, Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey. The Reds took a 2-1 lead on Todd Frazier’s two-run home run in the fifth. One batter earlier, Ryan Ludwick got the Reds’ first hit of the game with a single to right. The Giants tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a Theriot double and Cabrera single. Posey’s second RBI single of the game scored Theriot with the go-ahead run in the seventh. After Javier Lopez gave up a leadoff single to Jay Bruce in the ninth, Santiago Casilla came in for the save, but couldn’t hold the lead, giving up three consecutive singles to Ludwick, Frazier and Miguel Cairo. On the Cairo single, Ludwick was held up a third base with no one out, then Casilla pulled off a Houdini-like escape. He struck out Ryan Hanigan and Wilson Valdez before getting Zach Cozart to line out to third. The Giants made two quick outs in the ninth before Buster Posey ripped a ground-rule double to left. After a Pablo Sandoval walk, Angel Pagan lifted a deep fly ball to right that Bruce appeared prepared to catch and then …. he just plain dropped it. It was ruled a double for Pagan, scoring Posey for the win.