The San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds tangle on Tuesday night in an unusual doubleheader at AT&T Park.
Though scheduled as a traditional doubleheader, meaning the second contest will begin 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game, the nightcap will have a bit of an odd look.
That's because the latter engagement is actually a rescheduled meeting from a rain-postponed July 4 encounter in Cincinnati. Though the contest will be made up in San Francisco at AT&T Park, the Reds will bat last in the second game, though they are still the road team for statistical purposes, per MLB official rules.
Eric Surkamp makes his return to the major leagues in the first game for the Giants after undergoing Tommy John surgery last July 24.
A native of Cincinnati and rated the Giants' ninth-best prospect by MLB.com, Surkamp has pitched in both Class-A and Triple-A this season, going 2-0 with a 4.00 earned run average in nine starts.
"I'm super-excited to be up here," Surkamp told the Giants' official website. "It's been a long year. ... You can't really say it's just another game."
A sixth-round pick by San Francisco in 2008, the 26-year-old lefty made six starts with the Giants in 2011, going 2-2 with a 5.74 ERA.
The Reds counter with Tony Cingrani, who will be recalled from the minors to make the start as the club opted to go with an extra bench player out of the break before his spot in the rotation came up.
The left-hander did not factor into an 8-4 win at Atlanta on July 14, yielding two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and three walks over four innings.
Cingrani is 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA in 15 games (10 starts) this season and faced the Giants for the first time in his career on July 3. He also got a no- decision on that day, yielding two runs over 5 2/3 innings as the 24-year-old minimized the damage despite four hits and four walks allowed.
Greg Reynolds doesn't care who bats when or who is the actual home team. He just wants to pitch in the major leagues. The right-hander gets his chance for the Reds in the second contest of the doubleheader.
Reynolds will be recalled from the minors to make his first major league appearance since 2011 with the Colorado Rockies, who drafted him second overall in '06 out of Stanford.
Reynolds made 27 career appearances with the Rockies, including 16 starts, and went 5-8 with a 7.47 ERA. He was traded to the Texas Rangers in January of last year and signed with the Reds as a free agent in December.
Born in Pacifica, Calif., the 28-year-old righty is 10-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) with Triple-A Louisville this season as he battled his way back to the majors.
"I think it's more gratifying this time around," Reynolds told the Reds' official website. "I definitely had to fight my way to get back. I'm excited about this opportunity. I'm glad the Reds are giving it to me. I will give them everything I've got."
Countering for the Giants is Barry Zito, who has not won since May 30 and is 0-4 with a 6.42 ERA in eight starts since.
Pitching one day after Tim Lincecum's no-hitter, Zito only lasted two-plus innings at San Diego on July 14 and yielded four runs on four hits and a pair of walks. He was also touched for three homers in falling to 4-7 with a 4.88 ERA in 19 starts this year.
"My concentration wasn't where it should be," said Zito. "I threw too many pitches down the middle of the plate that hung. The three home runs were an indication of that. When I'm at my best, I'm pitch to pitch. Sometimes, when I scuffle, I'm getting out of the moment a little bit."
It continued a rough trend for the 35-year-old lefty. Zito fell to 0-6 with a 9.89 ERA in eight road games this year compared to 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA at home.
Zito did not get a decision versus the Reds on July 3 and is 3-5 against them lifetime with a 6.00 ERA in 13 games (12 starts).
The Reds picked up right where they left off in taking the first three meetings of that July series in Cincinnati, pounding the Giants and Lincecum 11-0 in Monday's opener.
Lincecum was coming off a no-hitter at San Diego on July 13 that saw him throw a career-high 148 pitches. However, he lasted just 3 2/3 innings last night and was reached for a career-worst eight earned runs.
"He left some pitches out," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy about Lincecum. "Give them credit, they swung the bat. Its a tough start for him."
The Reds hit three homers of Lincecum and scored a run in each of the first seven innings. Shin-Soo Choo extended his hitting streak to 16 straight games and homered, as did Devin Mesoraco and Jay Bruce. Bruce reached at least 20 homers for a sixth straight season.
"That's what we want to do," Baker said. "We went up and down the lineup. ... This game's a funny game. Sometimes you can't buy a run and sometimes (they're easy to come by)."
The Reds won for the fourth time in five games and out-hit the Giants 17-7. No San Francisco batter had more than one hit in the club's second straight loss.
The Giants have been held to a pair of runs or less in four of their last five games.