With 48 losses and not even the All-Star break, the San Francisco Giants have equaled their dismal first half performance of 1996. Fortunately there is a lot of season yet to be played and the Giants demonstrated it Wednesday night with a trouncing of the Cincinnati Reds.
Behind a strong pitching performance from starter Kevin Correia (1-0) and a host of relievers, the Giants beat the Reds 7-2. Correias second start of the season went well, with the young pitcher lasting five innings and allowing just two runs on five hits.
The Reds got on the scoreboard first Wednesday with two runs in the third inning. These would be the only runs the Giants would allow however. With two outs in the third inning Reds pitcher Luke Hudson (1-4) singled, Felipe Lopez followed with a walk and a passed ball sent the runners to second and third. A soft single by Adam Dunn gave the Reds a brief 2-0 lead.
With limited offensive action early in the game, the Giants finally got their bats rolling in the fifth inning with four runs. Pedro Feliz started the rally with a single, Michael Tucker followed with a walk and Devi Cruz singled scoring Feliz and advancing Tucker to third. The Giants went on to score three more runs on a bunt single by Jason Ellison and a pinch-hit triple by Lance Niekro.
After Correia was lifted from the game Giants relievers LaTroy Hawkins, Scott Eyre, Scott Munter and Tyler Walker slammed the door on any chances of a comeback by the Reds. In four innings of relief work the Giants pen allowed no runs and only one hit.
The Giants were at it again in the sixth inning adding another run. Cruz singled and Mike Matheny doubled extending the lead to 5-2. In the eighth inning Giants newcomer Alex Sanchez got his first big hit for San Francisco driving a two-run double to center field. These were the last two runs of the game, as the Giants defeated the Reds 7-2.
San Franciscos top slugger Wednesday night was Cruz. The standout utility-man had three hits, scored twice and drove in one run. Sanchez also played well, driving in a pair on two hits and Feliz also contributed two hits.
After starting 50 consecutive games, Giants All-Star slugger Moises Alou was given a well deserved day off by his dad. Alou had a feeling we wouldnt be in Wednesdays lineup.
"I know my father. It always happens after I have an 0-for-4 night, Alou said."
After some great pitching performances Wednesday night Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti will sleep easy. The Giants young crop of arms still may have some kinks to work out, but they have a coach who will put in the time.
"You can get me on the couch when I get older," Righetti said. "I'm just going to keep working."
After being demoted to the bullpen Brett Tomko (5-10) is back on the mound and starting in Thursdays series finale against Cincinnati. Opposing the Giants is the Reds right-hander Aaron Harang (4-7).
Cord has been a Giants junkie since he could blink and is an enthusiast for playing and watching most sports. Getting paid to be around baseball is his ultimate goal and he is confidant it will happen soon. Hit him up at Cordnowell@gmail. com
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