Ryan Vogelsong will try to deliver another strong home start for the Giants on Sunday and salvage a four-game series split against the Reds and Bronson Arroyo , who will try again for his first career victory in San Francisco.
Entering this four-game set on the heels on three consecutive shutout victories over the Los Angeles Dodgers , the NL West-leading Giants (44-35) won Thursday's series opener 5-0 over the Reds (43-34), setting a club record with a fourth straight shutout.
However, the Reds' starters that have dominated the last two contests between these first-place clubs. After Mike Leake threw a nine-hitter in Friday's 5-1 victory - the Giants' lone run came on a Pablo Sandoval ninth-inning homer - Mat Latos tossed a two-hitter Saturday for a 2-1 Cincinnati win.
Fortunately for San Francisco, opponents have not done much against Vogelsong (7-3, 2.23 ERA) at the team's waterfront ballpark. Since joining the team in 2011, the right-hander has compiled a sparkling 1.85 home ERA.
Vogelsong has thrown at least six innings in all 14 of his starts this year.
"It's pretty amazing what he has done and how consistent he's been," Bochy told the team's official website Tuesday after Vogelsong went seven strong innings in a 2-0 victory over the Dodgers.
Vogelsong, though, is 1-3 with a 6.60 ERA in seven career starts versus the Reds. He gave up four runs in six innings at Cincinnati on April 26, but the Giants rallied for three runs in the ninth and a 6-5 victory to salvage the finale of that three-game set.
The Reds have clinched the season series by virtue of winning the last two contests, but Arroyo (3-5, 4.13) can help the Central leaders win their first series by the Bay since taking two of three Aug. 7-9, 2009.
The right-hander is 0-4 with a 4.34 ERA in five starts at San Francisco.
Arroyo has given up two homers in 29 innings in those appearances, which is much better compared to his 15 allowed over 15 total starts in 2012.
After surrendering two long balls in each of his previous three outings, Arroyo kept the ball in the park in Tuesday's 4-3 win over Milwaukee. He didn't yield a hit until Taylor Green 's two-out double in the eighth, but he gave up three runs and didn't make it out of the inning or get credit for the victory."After a gem like that, a no-decision is terrible," said Arroyo, who also failed to earn a decision after allowing two runs - one earned - in five innings of a 4-2 victory over the Giants on April 25.
The Reds might be without first baseman Joey Votto in the series finale after he left Saturday's game in the fifth inning because of inflammation in his left knee. If Votto can't go, Miguel Cairo - who had an RBI single off the bench Saturday - could get the start.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips , who is batting .344 (22 for 64) in his last 15 games in San Francisco, is 7 for 12 lifetime off Vogelsong.
The Giants are trying to avoid dropping three in a row for the first time since a season-worst four-game skid to begin May.
|June 30, 2012||Joey Votto||Day-to-Day||Left game - left knee inflammation|
|June 28, 2012||Brandon Phillips||Day-to-Day||Head|
|June 12, 2012||Zack Cozart||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 06, 2012||Drew Stubbs||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|June 06, 2012||Drew Stubbs||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 12, 2012||Scott Rolen||15-Day DL||Strained left shoulder|
|San Francisco Giants|
|June 26, 2012||Shane Loux||15-Day DL||Strained neck|
|June 14, 2012||Aubrey Huff||Day-to-Day||Sprained right knee|
|June 11, 2012||Aubrey Huff||15-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
|June 07, 2012||Melky Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right hamstring|
|June 02, 2012||Santiago Casilla||Day-to-Day||Bruised knee|
|May 16, 2012||Melky Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left toe|
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Angel Pagan let out a sigh with the rest of AT&T Park when Jay Bruce drifted under his fly ball in right field. As he started to round first base, he lost track of the ball and figured Bruce caught it to send the game to extra innings.
Then the fans roared, which could only mean one thing: game over.
Pagan wound up with a game-ending RBI double that gave the San Francisco Giants a four-game series split with a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
"I looked at it and I thought, `I don't think I have a chance,"' Pagan said. "I thought he caught it. Then I heard the crowd cheer and I went nuts. It was a weird walk-off."
Only in San Francisco.
Buster Posey poked a pitch from Jose Arredondo (4-2) down the right-field line that bounced into the stands for a two-out double for his third hit. Then Pablo Sandoval , who was 0 for 4, was walked intentionally to set the stage for a wild finish.
The crowd groaned when Bruce ran under Pagan's fly ball to right until those whipping winds along the bay carried the ball over his head near the 24-foot brick wall as he lost his footing. The 42,039 fans inside sold-out AT&T Park erupted, Pagan tossed his helmet around second and the Giants streamed out of the dugout to mob him in celebration.
"It got in the wind a little bit, but I was just not as close to the wall as I thought I was and missed it," Bruce said. "It's really, really embarrassing. I missed it. It should be an error. It's not, but it definitely should be. I pride myself on my defense and that was just embarrassing."
Santiago Casilla (2-3) blew the save in the ninth but worked out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs to give San Francisco another shot.
Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong allowed only a two-run homer to Todd Frazier in seven innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked one, and the benches cleared after he slammed his bat because of an inside pitch from Reds starter Bronson Arroyo in the sixth.
After all the drama, the Giants ended the weekend the same way they started it: in first place in the NL West over the rival Dodgers.
"We'll take it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Reds slugger Joey Votto sat out the game with inflammation in his left knee. Miguel Cairo , who replaced Votto in the bottom of the fifth Saturday, started at first base.
Cincinnati could have used the help.
Posey, the NL's top vote-getter for the All-Star team announced earlier in the morning, hit the last of three straight two-out singles in the third to drive in Ryan Theriot and give the Giants a 1-0 lead. Theriot singled, doubled, walked twice and scored San Francisco's first three runs.
Frazier followed with a two-run homer in the fifth that drifted just over the wall in left field to put Cincinnati ahead. Frazier's eighth home run of the season came in place of third baseman Scott Rolen , who was taken out of the lineup with back spasms after Vogelsong took the mound.
After Theriot doubled in front of a diving Bruce in the fifth, he scored on Melky Cabrera 's single to tie the game at 2-all. Posey was hit in the left shoulder on an 0-1 pitch next, and though San Francisco's offense stalled with only one out, what appeared to be an unintentional inside pitch wasn't forgotten.
Vogelsong squared to sacrifice bunt in the sixth when Arroyo's inside pitch turned him around, the ball ricocheted off the bat and hit plate umpire Dan Iassogna's shoulder. Vogelgong slammed the bat down and took a couple steps toward Arroyo, the benches cleared and both teams were warned.
Arroyo muttered "My bad, Vogie," Vogelsong said, when the Giants pitcher jogged back to the dugout after he landed a successful sacrifice. Arroyo was booed walking off the mound after going six innings and allowing seven hits, two runs and two walks.
Vogelsong said Arroyo, a teammate and friend from his days in Pittsburgh a decade ago, wasn't intentionally trying to hit him. Arroyo even called Vogelsong in the clubhouse afterward and the two "cleared the air," Vogelsong said, calling his reaction something that happens "in the heat of the moment."
All that drama never really materialized into anything tangible.
Reds manager Dusty Baker replaced Arroyo with Logan Ondrusek in the seventh, when Theriot drew a leadoff walk. Cabrera dropped a sacrifice bunt and Posey followed with a line-drive single to center over a drawn-in infield to give San Francisco a 3-2 lead.
Bruce singled off lefty Javier Lopez to open the ninth. Casilla entered and allowed consecutive singles to Ryan Ludwick and Frazier to load the bases.
Cairo, at the time batting .133, hit an RBI single to tie the game at 3-all - although Baker was upset that Ludwick didn't try to score from second, even though third base coach Mark Berry held him up.
"We thought it was in there all the way, but maybe he didn't think it was in there," Baker said.
Casilla has blown two of his last three save opportunities, and is 20 for 23 this season in place of closer Brian Wilson . But the hard-throwing right-hander rallied to strike out Ryan Hanigan , Wilson Valdez and got Zack Cozart to pop out to first base, setting the stage for San Francisco in the bottom of the ninth.
NOTES: Rolen was credited with a start batting sixth, and Frazier with a start at third base. Rolen did not get credit for an appearance at third base. ... Vogelsong hit Brandon Phillips with a pitch two outs in the fourth for Cincinnati's first baserunner. Vogelsong has hit four batters in his last five games.
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