Reds shutout Giants 7-0

Photo credit: @Reds

By: Lewis Rubman

Cincinnati: 7 | 9 | 0
San Francisco: 0 | 4 | 2

SAN FRANCISCO — At game time, the Giants and Reds looked pretty evenly matched. Both teams were last in their divisions, with almost identical won-lost records of 16-22 for Cincinnati and 16-21 for San Francisco. Although the Giants took three of the four games in Cincinnati, they outscored the Reds 31-30.

On the mound for the Queen City was right-handed Luis Castillo, the NL Pitcher of the Month for April, sporting a 3-1, 1.97 ERA for the season. About the only blemish on Castillo’s performance was his loss to the Giants on May 5, when he gave up four runs (all earned) in seven innings.

Facing Castillo was the promising Dereck Rodríguez, off to a disappointing start of 3-4, 5.75 ERA. The Reds were responsible for much of that ugly statistic, having scored eight earned runs in the five innings he pitched in Cincinnati on May 4. In that short span, Rodríguez surrendered four home runs.

Rodríguez flinched first, in the top of the second when, with one out, Tyler Austin muffed Derek Dietrich’s fly ball to left and José Iglesias followed up with a single to the same field. Castillo, batting in the eighth slot, failed to advance the runners when he popped a bunt attempt that was caught by Stephen Vogt, who came so close to doubling Iglesias at first that it took a replay to declare him safe. Tucker Barnhart rose to the occasion and singled Dietrich home. Nick Senzel brought in Iglesias and Barnhard with a double to deep center that Stephen Duggar couldn’t hold on to after colliding with the fence at the 399 foot sign. Senzel, in turn, scored on Eugenio Suárez’s Mark Ellis double down the left field line. On a score card, none of the four runs was earned, but it’s hard to say.

Rodríguez held the Red Legs scoreless for the next three frames before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth. He left after having thrown 85 pitches, walking four, striking out two, and surrendering five hits, as well as the four unearned runs we’ve already noted.

Zach Duke relieved Castillo to start the seventh. Cincinnati’s ace had thrown 103 pitches, of which 62 were strikes, over six scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and five bases on balls, striking out 11, almost two an inning. His replacement, Zach Duke, wasn’t as effective, giving up a two out leg double to Joe Panik, followed by a single to the red-hot Stephen Vogt. At this point, the versatile Michael Lorenzen entered the game and retired the side, getting Evan Longoria to force Vogt out at second.

Meanwhile, Nick Vincent and Sam Dyson kept the Reds off the board through the eighth. But Travis Bergen, who started the ninth inning was’t effective. After allowing a one out walk to Joey Votto, he was the victim of a Texas League single to right by Suárez. Jesse Winker moved each of them up a base on a swinging bunt to Vogt. Yasiel Puig and followed with a two RBI single.

All the Giants could muster in their half of the ninth was a walk by Panik.

Castillo got the win, Rodríguez was handed the loss.

Tomorrow evening at 6:05 pm, Cincinnati’s Anthony DiSciafani (2-1, 3.65 ERA) will duel the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 3.16 ERA). The game will also feature a Let Pablo Pitch bobblehead give away. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

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