SAN FRANCISCO -- It only took a few minutes for Wednesday's series finale to unravel for the Giants.Rookie southpaw Andrew Suarez took the mound with a chance to secure a series sweep, but the Reds teed off to start the game. Four batters. Four hits. Four runs. And it led
SAN FRANCISCO -- It only took a few minutes for Wednesday's series finale to unravel for the Giants.
Rookie southpaw Andrew Suarez took the mound with a chance to secure a series sweep, but the Reds teed off to start the game. Four batters. Four hits. Four runs. And it led to a 6-3 loss for the Giants.
Jose Peraza led off the contest with a single before Suarez served up a double to Scooter Gennett and an RBI single to Joey Votto. Then Adam Duvall delivered the big blow during the Reds' rally, sending an inside fastball to the left-field bleachers for a three-run shot. It marked the fifth start of Suarez's young career and the 25-year-old admitted to being a bit too amped up before the game.
"My adrenaline was pumping too much in the first," Suarez said. "After I gave up those four runs, I settled down and just tried to go as deep as I can."
Once he got past the early tempest, Suarez enjoyed mostly smooth sailing. He also gave up an unearned run in the fifth after catcher Nick Hundley got crossed up and the ball slipped beneath his glove, allowing Votto to score from third. Suarez allowed five runs (four earned) on a career-high eight hits and a walk while striking out five.
But he still drew some praise from his manager for completing six innings, a day after the Giants used five relievers.
"First inning, he had good stuff, he was just overthrowing," Bruce Bochy said. "He had a good fastball and maybe tried to power his way through it a little bit, instead of working the edges maybe a little bit more. But he settled down and pitched a great ballgame. … He really did a good job of regrouping."
The opening salvo supplied offense for the Reds, who relied heavily on their bullpen following Matt Harvey's four-inning start. The Giants pushed across two runs in the bottom of the first then pulled within one on a solo shot from red-hot Brandon Belt.
But the rest of the contest was marked by missed opportunities, including the sixth when the team left the bases loaded. The Reds played some stellar defense throughout the afternoon, highlighted by Gennett's running grab down the right-field line that killed the sixth-inning threat. In all, the Giants went 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.
"We had our chances," Bochy said. "We did a great job, I thought. You get down four, we came right back and put some runs on the board. We were fighting hard there, just missing the big hit."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Stuck in the middle: The Giants failed to capitalize on a golden scoring opportunity in the bottom of the second. Miguel Gomez, making his first start of the year at second base following his Tuesday promotion, started off the inning with a single. Kelby Tomlinson moved Gomez to third with a double but the next three Giants were retired. Gomez got caught between third base and home plate after Gregor Blanco flied out to left and Duvall's throw went off-line toward the Giants on-deck circle. Gomez couldn't pull the trigger to sprint home despite the ample time, allowing Harvey to get out of the jam unscathed.
"That's instincts there," Bochy said. "He didn't quite read it, then he got caught in no-man's land there and didn't know what to do. He's a young kid. But at that time, that's a huge run."
HE SAID IT
"I've always said we're pretty much the same player. So it's not surprising." -- Belt, joking about becoming first Giant since Barry Bonds to record five straight games with a homer against the same opponent
In their 45th contest of the year, the Giants will finally face division foe Colorado for the first time this season. Right-hander Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 6.94 ERA) will get the start in Thursday's 7:15 p.m. PT opener of the four-game set, seeking his first quality start of the year. The Rockies are expected to counter with right-hander Chad Bettis (4-1, 3.12).
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.