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Reds hitters sting Giants pitching in series finale

© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Monday morning the San Francisco Giants faced off against the Cincinnati Reds with a chance to close out a four-game series with a win. A common theme this series has been Reds hitters attacking Giants pitching early on. That would be the case in Monday’s series finale, except a swarm of bees would attack them first.

The first inning began like it had all series long. Giants bats were held scoreless in the top of the first before starter Drew Pomeranz fell victim to the long-ball. Rookie Nick Senzel began the bottom of the first with a solo homer, which was then followed up with a Joey Votto base-hit. Next batter, Eugenio Suarez launched a two-run homer to left-center, giving the Reds an early 3-0 lead.

Not out of it yet, Pomeranz would surrender a walk to Kyle Farmer, who would come around to score on a triple by Jose Iglesias. The Red’s would tack-on one more on a single from Curt Casali, giving them a commanding 5-0 lead in the first.

After the bees were exterminated, so was Giants pitching. Including Monday’s game, Giants starters have given up 13 runs combined in the first innings of this four-game series. An issue that has plagued them all season long, the Giants’ lack of first-inning scoring combined with early pitching struggles has them currently sitting with one of the worst first-inning run differentials.

Following Friday night’s historic eight-run comeback, and Sunday’s four-run comeback, Monday’s early 5-0 deficit was a game that was far from over.

Brandon Belt led off the top of the second inning with a double to right. Pablo Sandoval would follow with a ground ball to third, which would be overthrown at first, scoring Belt on the error and giving the Giants their first run.

A mirror image of the first inning, the bottom of the second began exactly the same way. Stud-rookie Nick Senzel led off the inning with another solo homer, giving the Reds a 6-1 lead. Later in the inning Suarez and Yasiel Puig would both single before Iglesias would drive in the Reds seventh run of the game.

Pomeranz would fail to make it through two innings. Lasting just an inning and two-thirds, Pomeranz would surrender seven runs on nine hits in what was his worst start in a Giants uniform. Long-reliever Nick Vincent would take over and tame the Reds offense, keeping them scoreless over the next two and a third innings.

Starting off the game in a 7-1 deficit, a comeback seemed almost probable after what had transpired earlier in the series. Ainning two big games in comeback fashion in this series, the Giants would climb back into this one as well.

Joe Panik led off the sixth inning with a double to right, before Belt walked with two outs and Panik still at second. Pablo Sandoval, arguably the Giants best hitter right now, followed with a three-run homer that propelled the Giants back into the game. Just like that, the Giants once again refused to go down without a fight and trailed 7-4.

Just when things seemed to be looking up for the Giants, it got much, much worse. Ambidextrous, switch-pitcher, Pat Venditte replaced Vincent and held the Reds scoreless in the fifth, before falling apart in the bottom of the sixth. Suarez was hit by a pitch with one out before Puig followed with a walk. A base hit from Farmer would load the bases before Iglesias would knock in Suarez and Puig and extend the Reds lead to 9-4.

No mercy from the Reds offense this series, as they continued to add on in the sixth. Casali would follow Iglesias with a base hit of his own, scoring the Reds 10th run of the game. The next three Reds hitters would be hit by pitches. Jose Peraza, Josh VanMeter and Joey Votto (who was batting for the second time that inning) would all be hit with pitches, giving the Reds a massive 12-4 lead.

A very eventful game from start to finish would include an inning of Pablo Sandoval pitching the bottom of the eighth inning. Let Pablo Pitch has been a movement that has everybody eager to see Sandoval pitch, ever since his scoreless inning against the Dodgers last August. Sandoval would continue to impress on the mound this time around, throwing yet another scoreless inning in relief.

Entering Monday’s game, the Giants had a chance to take three of four from the Reds. Try as they might have, the Giants were completely over-matched in this game. Making it interesting in the sixth inning, the remainder of the game got away from them very quickly.

The losing pitcher was Drew Pomeranz, who falls to 1-4 on the season with an ERA that sky-rocketed to 5.93 after giving up seven earned runs. The winning pitcher was Anthony DeSclafani, who improves to 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA.

Madison Bumgarner will get the start Tuesday evening in Colorado as the Giants make their first trip to Coors Field to take on the Rockies.


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