The San Francisco Giants looked like anything but the best team in baseball as they committed four errors on Tuesday at Great American Ballpark to give the Reds an 8-3 victory.
Homer Bailey (6-3) allowed a run in each of the first three innings, but settled in to allow just five hits in six innings while striking out seven. Tim Lincecum (4-4) failed to escape the fifth inning as he allowed eight runs on six hits with three walks.
San Francisco (37-21) got on the board first with a solo homer by Hunter Pence, but Lincecum was his own worst enemy in the Reds' half of the first. Cincinnati (27-29) got it started with a double by Billy Hamilton. Hamilton strayed too far off second, but Lincecum's pick-off sailed into center field and Hamilton scampered home to tie the game. Todd Frazier walked and scored two batters later on a double by Jay Bruce, his first RBI since April 25. Bruce trotted home on a Devin Mesoraco homer and the Reds were quickly up 4-1.
The Giants got one back in the second when Joaquin Arias hit a sac fly to score Hector Sanchez. Sanchez was nearly thrown out by Bruce at home, but Mesoraco could not get a handle on the throw to allow his catching counterpart to score. Pablo Sandoval added another sac fly in the third to make it a 4-3 game as he sent Hamilton back to the warning track to allow Angel Pagan to score easily.
Things were quiet in the fourth, but Hamilton led off the fifth with an infield single, stole second base, then moved to third on an errant throw by Sanchez. After a Frazier walk, Brandon Phillips doubled home both runners to make it 6-3. Phillips took advantage of the Giants inefficiencies in the running game as he stole third before scoring on a single by Bruce. Bruce also got in on the stolen base movement, as he completed the Reds fourth steal of the game and also moved to third on a throwing error by Sanchez. Brayan Pena hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield to allow Bruce to make it a 8-3 game, as he beat the throw from Arias.
That was all for Lincecum as David Huff came on to strike out Zack Cozart and Bailey with runners on first and second. Huff and George Kontos combined for three scoreless innings to continue to keep the Reds off the board. The only problem for the Giants was that Bailey, J.J. Hoover, and Logan Ondrusek retired 13 straight to seal the victory for the Reds.
The win now gives the Reds four straight victories, to keep them in a tie with Pirates (28-30) who have won three straight and five of their last six. They also cut into the Cardinals hold on second place as St. Louis has now lost three straight and seven of its last ten. Milwaukee still holds a five game lead on St. Louis and is 6.5 up on the Pirates and Reds.
The series continues on Wednesday as the Ryan Vogelsong (3-2, 3.45 ERA) takes on a struggling Tony Cingrani (2-5, 4.01 ERA) who has not won since April 24. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.