Giants come up short yet again in 3-2 loss to Reds in opener of series

May 11, 2017

MLB, San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, right, greets Denard Span (2) in the dugout after Span’s solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Jeremy Harness

SAN FRANCISCO – After Wednesday night’s proceedings at AT&T Park, one could only ponder which scenario was more likely: That the Giants would hold on for victory against a team that has had their number this year, or they actually sold the game out, as the team told us that they did.

In front of the “sellout” crowd of an announced crowd of 41,193 – there were a considerable number of empty seats around the ballpark that would suggest otherwise – the team that currently owns the worst record in the major leagues took yet another one on the chin, falling 3-2 to the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds have now beaten the Giants in each of their four matchups this year, while the Giants have lost six of their last seven overall.

The night got off to a promising start, however, after Brandon Belt got a hold of a Bronson Arroyo fastball and sailed it into the garden beyond the center-field wall to give the Giants an early 1-0 lead.

Giants starter Ty Blach turned in a very nice outing on Wednesday and made that slim lead stand up for three innings, but the Reds got to him and squared the game up in the fourth. The first two batters touched him for a single and a double, while the very next batter, Joey Votto, grounded out but also scored the tying run.

Blach, who went seven innings and gave up only two runs on five hits, walking one and striking out two, avoided any further damage and continued to give his team a chance to win. It was a far cry from the last time he saw the Reds last Saturday, when he was torched for eight runs on 11 hits and was out of the game after only three innings.

“You can lose a little confidence with that (previous) start, when you’ve got to pitch against the same ballclub that beat you up pretty good,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I was proud of him. He did all he could to win that ballgame for us.”

The Giants re-took the lead in the fifth, as Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo hung a 2-2 curveball to Denard Span. The center fielder, who was just activated from the 10-day disabled list in time for Wednesday night’s game, quickly deposited it into the seats in right-center to give the Giants a 2-1 lead.

For Span, it was as successful a return as one could hope for, as the veteran collected four hits on Wednesday.

That was the extent of the damage the Giants would inflict on Arroyo, who went six innings and also surrendered only a pair of runs on six hits, walking only one and striking out three more.

Meanwhile, Votto struck again in the sixth, as his RBI single in the sixth brought in Billy Hamilton to even the game up before Cincinnati took the advantage for good two innings later.

Scooter Gennett lined one off the center-field wall off reliever Hunter Strickland to open the eighth inning with a triple. Two batters later, Zack Cozart smoked a double into the left-center gap to bring Gennett around to put Cincinnati ahead, 3-2.

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