The night began on an ominous note for Morris, who threw eight straight balls out of the strike zone to Ryan Freel and Scott Hatteberg to start the game. Things would only get worse from there. Ex-Giant Rich Aurilia smacked a broken bat RBI single to left, bringing home Freel. Following a walk to Dunn, Hatteberg scored on a sac-fly by Edwin Encarnacion, and then Todd Hollandsworth rifled a ball off the right field wall to clear the bases. By the time the dust settled, Morris and the Giants' were trailing 3-0, which isn't too bad for Morris because the inning could have been much more laborious.
Staked to an early lead, Arroyo had all the run support he would need. The Reds hurler was in cruise control from the beginning, retiring the first nine batters he faced before Steve Finley led off the fourth with a walk.
San Francisco finally broke into the hit column in the fifth thanks to consecutive two-out singles by Eliezer Alfonso and Morris to put runners at first and third. Just when it looked like the Giants' were on the verge of putting some runs on the board, Arroyo buckled down and got Finley on a ground out to second for the final out.
While the Giants' bats were scuffling against Arroyo, Morris had quietly settled into a nice groove. The right hander retired five in a row before running into trouble in the third. Following a two-out base hit by Hollandsworth, Brandon Phillips drilled what appeared to be a run scoring double into the left-field corner, but Hollandsworth slipped rounding the bag at third and had to go back. Morris escaped further damage, retiring Arroyo on a bunt back to the mound ending the inning.
With the exception of that nightmarish first inning, Morris (10-12) held Cincinnati's offense in check, throwing six scoreless frames to keep the Giants' within striking distance. Reliever Scott Munter took over in the eighth did not allow a run.
But with Arroyo (12-9) on the mound and in complete control, there would be no late inning comeback for San Francisco. Arroyo kept the Giants' hitters off balance all night long using a mixture of changeups and curveballs. He allowed only one hit after the fifth, an Omar Vizquel single to lead off the ninth.
Tuesday's loss once again puts the Giants' below the .500 mark for the season at 69-70. The Giants' will look to close out the road trip on a winning note today before heading home for a crucial six-game homestand. Jonathan Sanchez will make his first major league start in place of Noah Lowry against Sun-Woo Kim (8-6, 5.05 ERA) @ 9:35 am.
Notes: Omar Vizquel and Barry Bonds are expected to get the finale off due to rest... Randy Winn was out of the lineup after getting hit with a pitch in Monday's game. He is not expected to play in the finale either.
SFDugout's Player of the Game: Matt Morris settled down after the rocky first inning by tossing six shutout innings.
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