Mike Leake is unexpectedly unbeatable on the road.
Chad Gaudin 's winning streak, however, may be more surprising.
Leake looks to continue his mastery outside Cincinnati as the Reds attempt to solve Gaudin and re-establish their success against the San Francisco Giants in the finale of this four-game set Wednesday night.
Leake (9-4, 2.79 ERA) is tied with Mat Latos for the team lead in wins, and his ERA is among the NL's best.
Much of the right-hander's success stems from a 6-0 record and 1.27 ERA over his last eight starts on the road, reaching at least the seventh inning in six of them. That's a staggering reversal after winning seven games in 25 away starts the previous two seasons.
Two of those wins, however, came at San Francisco. He threw a nine-hitter in a 5-1 victory on June 29, 2012, his only complete game as a visitor. Leake has won his last three regular-season starts against the Giants (46-54) behind a 0.77 ERA.
Gaudin (4-1, 2.15) is enjoying his own impressive stretch for the Giants, going 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA in seven starts since replacing the injured Ryan Vogelsong (broken hand) in the rotation.
The journeyman right-hander has been superb over his last four outings, winning two while compiling a 0.77 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 23 1-3 innings. Prior to replacing Vogelsong, Gaudin's last start came in 2009 with the New York Yankees .
"Obviously I'd like to start and enjoy starting," Gaudin said. "I signed over here to do what I'm doing now. It's great. I've put a lot of time and effort and work into having a good craft and pretty much dedicated myself to getting better and staying consistent.
"It's kind of surprising, but at the same time I kind of expect it out of myself."
Gaudin's run continued Friday, when he fanned eight and yielded three hits in seven innings of a 2-0 win over Arizona.
He's 0-1 while allowing five runs and two homers in 9 1-3 innings over three games versus the Reds (57-44), and his only career start against them was a defeat with Oakland in 2007.
Cincinnati will try to get to Gaudin again after splitting an unusual doubleheader at San Francisco on Tuesday. The Reds took the first game 9-3 before falling 5-3 in the nightcap, during which they were deemed the home team in a makeup of a July 4 rainout in Cincinnati.
Despite the defeat, the Reds have won 12 of the past 16 regular-season meetings with the Giants. They're batting .326 with nine homers and 37 runs while winning five of six this year after being ousted in five games in the NL division series last fall.
Todd Frazier is 11 for 25 (.440) with 10 RBIs against the Giants this year, getting seven hits - four doubles - and driving in six runs in this series. He'll face Gaudin for the first time, while Brandon Phillips is 0 for 6.
Joey Votto is also expected to get his first look at Gaudin, and he's hitting .356 over his last 15 games at AT&T Park, including the playoffs.
San Francisco's Hunter Pence is 8 for 21 (.381) in six games since the All-Star break after collecting five hits over the last three. The right fielder is 6 for 18 (.333) with two doubles and a homer off Leake.
|July 20, 2013||Derrick Robinson||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|July 10, 2013||Ryan Hanigan||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Johnny Cueto||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|June 28, 2013||Johnny Cueto||Day-to-Day||Left game - tight right lat|
|June 14, 2013||Jonathan Broxton||15-Day DL||Right elbow flexor mass strain|
|June 01, 2013||Johnny Cueto||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|San Francisco Giants|
|July 21, 2013||Jeremy Affeldt||15-Day DL||Strained left groin|
|July 09, 2013||Hector Sanchez||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|July 08, 2013||Joaquin Arias||15-Day DL||Appendicitis|
|July 05, 2013||Andres Torres||Day-to-Day||Left game - right calf cramp|
|June 24, 2013||Joaquin Arias||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 21, 2013||Chad Gaudin||15-Day DL||Right elbow contusion|
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Cincinnati Reds found just about every way to beat the San Francisco Giants this season after falling in frustrating fashion to the World Series champions last October.
Mike Leake led the latest - and perhaps wackiest - performance Wednesday night, pitching six-plus innings of wildly effective ball in Cincinnati's 8-3 victory over San Francisco.
Leake (10-4) allowed a career-high 12 hits but gave up just one run. He also snapped an 0-for-26 skid - his longest hitless streak - with the third three-hit game of his career.
"I don't know if that combination happens too often," Leake said.
The last pitcher to give up at 12 least hits and record three of his own was Houston's Mike Hampton at Colorado on July 28, 1999.
Joey Votto , Brandon Phillips and Devin Mesoraco each drove in two runs to power the Reds to another impressive win against the Giants. After allowing San Francisco to rally from an 0-2 deficit to win the NL division series last fall, Cincinnati finished 6-1 against the Giants this season - and most of the wins weren't even close.
The Reds outscored San Francisco 45-14 in seven games, including Homer Bailey 's no-hitter on July 2. They also outscored the Giants 31-11 in four games this week at AT&T Park.
The 55 hits in the last four games are the most by a team at San Francisco since the Dodgers had 60 in another four-game series from July 1-4, 1977, at Candlestick Park.
"They pretty much had their way with us," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
In the series finale, the Giants had 15 hits - including five singles by Hunter Pence - while the Reds had just 13 total. But San Francisco was 4 for 16 with runners in scoring position and stranded 15 on base. Adding to the embarrassment, even the chalk that makes up the batter's box was off-center.
Buster Posey was out of the starting lineup after playing first base in the opener and catching the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader. He grounded into a fielder's choice as a pinch hitter in the seventh, when the Giants loaded the bases with no outs before reliever Sam LeCure shut them down.
Chad Gaudin (4-2) gave up six runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings in his worst - and shortest - start of the year for San Francisco. He also allowed a season-high five walks.
"We've played better than them. I don't really know if there's a way to explain it," said Reds right fielder Jay Bruce , who had two hits and also one RBI.
In the last regular-season matchup of this one-sided series, the formula remained the same: early runs and patchwork pitching for a runaway Reds win.
Shin-Soo Choo hit a leadoff double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Votto's flyout to give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
In the third, Votto scored from first when Pence missed Phillips' two-out single to right field. The ball trickled off the glove of Gregor Blanco behind him. Bruce followed with an RBI double, and Mesoraco had an RBI single to put the Reds ahead 4-0.
Pence matched his career high with five hits, including a single in the third that put San Francisco on the board. But after Brandon Belt singled, Jeff Francoeur grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Reds manufactured two more runs in the fourth. Votto drove in a run when he grounded out with the bases loaded, and Phillips hit a sacrifice fly to extend Cincinnati's lead to 6-1.
The Giants also loaded the bases in the fourth - and wasted that scoring opportunity. Leake got Pablo Sandoval to pop out, ending San Francisco's rally.
After Votto tripled leading off the sixth, Phillips singled him home. Mesoraco's two-out single put the Reds up 8-1, sending a large chunk of the announced sellout crowd of 41,512 to the exits.
Sandoval's two-run double off Logan Ondrusek in the eighth accounted for the only other San Francisco runs.
Reds manager Dusty Baker , mindful of San Francisco's remarkable rallies last October, even had closer Aroldis Chapman warming up in the bullpen - just in case.
"You can't figure it out," Baker said. "We dominated them in the first two games of the series last year, then they came back and won. So it's just baseball. I've been around so long, nothing surprises me too much. I just like to win."
NOTES: Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong said "everything feels pretty good" after throwing two scoreless innings in his first rehab assignment Tuesday in the Arizona Rookie League. Vogelsong, sidelined since breaking bones in his right pinkie on May 20, will throw about 40-45 pitches for Class-A San Jose at Stockton on Friday. ... Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti missed the game after having surgery on his left elbow. He will be back with the team Friday. Bullpen coach Mark Gardner was the active pitching coach, and part-time coach Shawon Dunston was added to the staff. ... Reds SS Zack Cozart sat out with a sore hip. He is day to day. ... Mat Latos (9-3, 3.53 ERA) starts for the Reds against Zack Greinke (8-2, 3.36) in the opener of a four-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. ... The Giants are off Thursday. They begin a three-game series at home against the Chicago Cubs on Friday.