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Byrd's RBI holds up as Giants edge Reds

SAN FRANCISCO -- Marlon Byrd knocked in Brandon Belt with a double in the third inning against his former team and Matt Duffy added two doubles of his own as San Francisco edged the Cincinnati Reds, 5-3, Monday night at AT&T Park.

Tim Hudson pitched 4 1/3 solid innings in his second start since being penciled back into the rotation, giving up a run on three hits and three walks. He cruised through the first four innings, but loaded the bases in the fifth, which prevented him from picking up the win. "I obviously got in a jam right there in the fifth," Hudson said. "With the bases loaded and a couple of tough lefties coming up, you've got to make a move."

Hudson's hip flared up in the second inning, but he managed to stay in the game and doesn't believe the injury to be too serious.

"It's just one of those things I deal with from time to time," Hudson said. "It's something we'll just treat and take care of."

Video: [email protected]: Hudson tosses 4 1/3 innings of one-run ball

The Giants remained 7 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West race and gained a half-game on the idle Cubs to pull seven games back for the second NL Wild Card spot.

Keyvius Sampson lasted just three innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks. Jay Bruce kept Cincinnati within striking distance when he launched a two-run homer in the seventh inning, and Ramon Cabrera's fourth hit of the game helped fuel a ninth-inning rally before Santiago Casilla escaped the jam to notch his 33rd save of the season.

Video: [email protected]: Casilla kills Reds' rally to tally 33rd save

Early support: The Giants' offense entered Monday having scored 27 runs in the last three games, and the good times kept rolling when Duffy slapped a two-run double to right field in the first inning to open the scoring. Belt then tripled home a run in the third and Byrd followed with his RBI double to give Hudson a quick four-run cushion.

Video: [email protected]: Duffy doubles home a pair for an early lead

Bruce brings Reds back: As the Reds trailed by three runs, Bruce put his team back in the game when he hit a 98 mph 1-1 fastball from Josh Osich for a long two-run homer to right field. According to Statcast™, the ball left Bruce's bat at 109 mph and traveled 417 feet. It was his 21st homer of the season and his 54th homer vs. a left-handed pitcher since 2010, the most by any player in the Majors.

Video: [email protected]: Bruce's homer pulls the Reds within one run

"That was the first I had ever seen Osich," said Bruce, who tied Eric Davis for eighth in club history with 203 career homers. "He's got big, power stuff. I was able to put a good swing on the ball. It was just a good pitch to hit and I didn't miss it. I missed pitches earlier in the game, but I didn't miss that one."

Errors hurt: It was not a good night defensively for Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez, who committed two errors in the game -- both led to runs. Suarez muffed Brandon Phillips' flip on Alejandro De Aza's likely double-play ball in the first inning. In the eighth on Duffy's routine ground ball leading off, Suarez overthrew to first base for a two-base error. Duffy scored on Belt's sacrifice fly. Suarez has five errors over the last five games and 17 for the season.

Video: [email protected]: Belt's sac fly scores important insurance run

"It's unfortunate. I don't know what else to say," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "The kid works his tail off. He's working hard and playing hard. It was just a tough day defensively for sure."

Big-time Belt: The Giants first baseman added an insurance run in the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly to score Duffy, in addition to his RBI triple. Perhaps his biggest contribution, however, to San Francisco's victory came on defense with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Bruce hit a bouncing ball to Belt's left, which he scooped up and fired to home to preserve the Giants' 4-0 lead.

Video: [email protected]: Belt fires home on slow chopper to get force

"Terrific play down the line there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "[Belt] surprised all of us going home with it. ... He was on the run there and put the throw right on the money." More >

"What a great opportunity to show what you can do. Ramon is getting more opportunities to play with Brayan Pena not able to be readily available for another day or two behind the plate. … He's made the most of it." -- Price on Cabrera, a September callup who made the third start behind the plate of his big league career Monday.

Video: [email protected]: Cabrera a perfect 4-for-4 in fifth MLB game

Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton left the game in the fifth inning with a sore shoulder. Hamilton was on the disabled list from Aug. 19-Sept. 7 with a sprained capsule inside the same shoulder. His status to return is day to day, but there is concern that the injury could be more serious. He is expected to see a doctor soon. More >

Reds: The series continues at 10:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday when John Lamb starts for Cincinnati. Lamb is coming off earning his first big league win Thursday vs. the Cardinals. Despite allowing six walks in his five innings with three hits, he made pitches when he had to during an 11-0 victory.

Giants: San Francisco turns to right-hander Chris Heston (11-10, 3.55) as the Giants look to take the second game of the series. Heston seeks his first victory since July 27, the last start in which he completed seven innings of work.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Read More: Brandon Belt, Marlon Byrd, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Keyvius Sampson, Matt Duffy, Tim Hudson