The San Francisco Giants' scoreless innings streak ended quickly last night in a loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
The current NL West leaders hope to start a new streak when they continue a four-game set this afternoon from AT&T Park.
The Giants had not allowed a run in 36 straight innings until Cincinnati put up a three-spot on Matt Cain in the first inning of Friday's 5-1 victory. Cain was hoping to post the fifth consecutive shutout for San Francisco, but was hammered for all five runs and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"You're going to have an off day," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Today it happened."
Cain had been unbeaten in 10 straight starts. Pablo Sandoval had a team-high two hits, including his sixth home run of the season. The Giants, who sit one game ahead of struggling Los Angeles for the NL West lead, have still won six of their last eight games. They are 4-1 on a seven-game homestand.
Barry Zito started the stretch of four consecutive shutouts and will get the call this afternoon. Zito fired seven shutout innings and allowed three hits in Monday's 8-0 win over the Dodgers, lifting his record to 6-5 in 15 starts and lowering his earned run average to 4.00.
Zito ended a personal three-game slide and is 4-2 in eight home starts this season. The left-hander and 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with Oakland tossed six innings of one-run ball in a 4-2 loss at Cincinnati on April 25 for a no- decision. Zito is 3-4 with a 6.79 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) against the Reds.
Cincinnati won for just the fourth time in 11 tries last night to maintain a one-game lead over Pittsburgh and a 2 1/2-game advantage ahead of St. Louis.
Zack Cozart ended San Francisco's scoreless innings streak with a leadoff home run and Jay Bruce later ripped a two-run double. Bruce had a big night for the Reds, finishing 4-for-4 with three RBI, and Brandon Phillips made his return to the lineup due to a head injury suffered against Milwaukee. Phillips had a hit and scored a run for the Reds, who are 1-1 so far on an 11-game road trip.
Phillips needed to pass a concussion test before returning.
"He did very well. He told me he was doing better today," Reds head athletic trainer Paul Lessard told the club's website. "I'm sure he had a mild concussion. That's the way I'm treating him."
Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake homered and tossed the first complete game of his career, as he gave up one run and nine hits with four strikeouts and a walk. Leake is now 3-5 on the season.
"I'm sure he wanted the shutout, but we'll take 5-1," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Cincinnati, which will also visit Los Angeles and San Diego on its California quest, hopes Mat Latos can keep the winning ways intact when he toes the rubber Saturday. Latos hasn't lost since April 18 at St. Louis and is 6-0 with a 4.05 earned run average in his last 12 starts, with the Reds going 9-3 in that time. Latos opened his first campaign with the Reds 0-2 in three starts, but has since turned it on.
Latos, a right-hander, went the distance in a 3-1 win over Milwaukee on Monday and allowed one run and four hits with a career-high 13 K's. He walked a pair of batters and improved to 6-2 in 15 starts with a 4.77 ERA. Latos defeated the Giants with seven scoreless innings in a 9-2 win back on April 24 and the former Padre is 3-3 with a 2.35 ERA in 10 career starts against them.
The Reds won two of three games against the Giants earlier this season from April 24-26 and are 8-4 in the past 12 meetings between the clubs.