San Francisco, CA – Well, it was no thriller compared to yesterday’s game but it was an old fashion battle on the mound. Both pitchers tossed scoreless innings until Ryan Vogelsong yielded a run in the fifth. The Giants avoided a shutout thanks to Adam Duvall’s home run but still fell 3-1 to the Reds.
“We’re just not swinging the bats very well right now,” said San Francisco’s manager Bruce Bochy. “As a group we’re not clicking. We’ve got to get these bats going.”
The only person who had success against Mike Leake was Duvall. He became the 13th Giants player to record his first Major League hit with a home run in his first Major League game. The last player to accomplish this feat was Bret Pill on Sept 6, 2011 in San Diego.
“To be honest, I was just hoping it would go out,” Duvall said. “I’ve heard a lot of talk that it doesn’t fly here. It’s hard to hit one out here. When I saw it finally did clear the fence it was a pretty cool feeling.”
San Francisco avoided a shutout with Duvall’s solo blast in the seventh. That was the only run Leake allowed after tossing six shutout innings. He lasted eight frames allowing four hits, one run, one walk, one home run and struck out twelve.
Leake recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts and matched Johnny Cueto for the most by a Reds pitcher this season. He and Cueto are the only pitchers that have donned a Cincinnati uniform in recording double digit strikeouts in a game this season. Leake improved to 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in four career starts at AT&T Park.
“It doesn’t feel like that many, but at this level, I guess it’s a pretty good accomplishment. They come and go. I’m not huge on strikeouts,” said Leake.
Vogelsong was off to a good start until the fifth. After pitching four scoreless innings, he gave up two hits in the fifth, Jay Bruce hit a one-out double, and Vogelsong struck out Ryan Ludwick. But then he gave up a RBI double to Zack Cozart giving the Reds a 1-0 lead.
“It was good but just not good enough,” Vogelsong said referring to his outing. “I worked my butt off to strike out Ludwick. He’s given me trouble in the past. Then you hang a curveball to the eight-hitter and give up a double that scores a run. That chaps my butt a little bit.”
The Giants defense stepped up in the sixth when the Reds put two on with both runners in the corner. Devin Mesoraco popped out to second baseman Joe Panik who threw to home plate for the out turning the double play to end the inning and prevent Cincinnati from scoring their second run.
But that didn’t last, when Jean Machi gave up two runs in the seventh. He had his 25.1 scoreless inning streak snapped, Brandon Phillips leadoff the inning with solo home run, Jay Bruce followed with a double and Ludwick knocked a RBI single to left field making it a 3-0 game.
Machi’s scoreless streak was tied with Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle for the longest active scoreless streak in the Majors. San Francisco has dropped the first game of the series in six-consecutive series and seven of their last eight.