Giants surge back for win after Reds' big frame

Giants surge back for win after Reds' big frame

CINCINNATI -- Sending 11 men to the plate in a six-run, six-hit bottom of the third inning, the Reds got the best of their former ace Johnny Cueto. But the Giants beat up a vulnerable bullpen for five runs in the top of the seventh to get the 9-6 win Monday at Great American Ball Park.

Cincinnati held a 6-3 advantage when JC Ramirez replaced starter Brandon Finnegan to begin the seventh. Following the first out, San Francisco notched five consecutive hits -- including Brandon Belt's RBI single off Ramirez and a three-run homer by Brandon Crawford against Drew Hayes.

Vin Mazzaro pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief for the victory. Cincinnati has dropped seven of its last eight games.

The Reds were down by a 3-0 score when they hit for the cycle in their big inning with Tucker Barnhart's leadoff single starting the rally. Billy Hamilton legged for a one-out RBI double and Joey Votto's three-run homer to center field provided the go-ahead runs. Two batters later, Jay Bruce hit an RBI triple to the wall in center field. Scott Schebler's RBI single stretched the lead to three runs.

Schebler's RBI single

Cueto stuck around and retired eight in a row following the Schebler hit, but gave up six earned runs and seven hits over his five innings with two walks and eight strikeouts.

"You see what happens when he gets settled in," Hamilton said. "That's the kind of pitcher he is. Once he gets in that routine and starts rolling, he's a great. I've played behind him and I know how he pitches and everything. It was good to get going and get a few runs. Unfortunately it didn't turn out the way we wanted it to. That's baseball. You have to come back the next day and try it again."

Cueto fans eight in Cincy return

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Slump, begone! It's an understatement to say Crawford reversed his fortunes with his three-run homer that punctuated the Giants' big seventh inning. He was hitting .203 (12-for-59) with four RBIs in an 18-game stretch and 1-for-18 (.056) with runners in scoring position when he connected.

Crawford's go-ahead homer

"It was nice to have a game where you actually get a hit with a guy in scoring position," Crawford said. "I've gotten a few RBIs through groundouts or sacrifice flies, but getting a hit in that situation's always a lot better."

Hello, friend: Votto spent a lot of time playing with Cueto the previous eight seasons but facing him for the first time was no time for sentimentality. In the third inning with a 3-2 count and two men on, Votto crushed a 92 mph fastball to straightaway center field for a three-run homer, his third of the season. The ball traveled 418 feet, according to Statcast™, and left the bat at 104 mph.

Votto's three-run dinger

Osich handles load: Once again, Giants rookie left-hander Josh Osich excelled in relief. He finished the seventh inning by coaxing Votto's double-play grounder, then worked a perfect eighth. Osich, who was tied for the National League lead in appearances entering this game, has been in 15 of San Francisco's 27 contests.

Giants turn two, get out of jam

"He's getting his rhythm out there, his command," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It looks like he's found himself and he's done an outstanding job. He's a big part of our setup situation."

Finnegan's hamstring: Finnegan survived a rocky three-run second inning where the big hit was Cueto's two-run single through the right side of the infield. The lefty still completed a six-inning quality start with three earned runs, six hits, three walks and four strikeouts. But a sore left hamstring made it necessary for him to leave the game.

"He would not have come out otherwise," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Finnegan fans Posey

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When Ramirez surrendered runs in the seventh, it meant that Reds relievers tied the Major League record by allowing at least one run for the 20th consecutive game. They now share the modern record with the 2013 Rockies.

"We have to get some guys on a roll," Price said. "It becomes a lot easier that way. Everyone starts to throw to their ability and it gets easier to slot guys in and you know who your mid-guys are. Right now, we're going to go freshest arm. We've had a lot of work in our bullpen and it's been hard finding a recipe to get through the ninth."

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: San Francisco will aim for its second three-game winning streak of the season in Tuesday's 4:10 p.m. PT rematch against the Reds. The Giants also have a chance to climb two games above .500 for the first time since they were 7-5 on April 16. Right-hander Jeff Samardzija gets the start for the visitors.

Reds: The series continues at 7:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday when the Reds hope to have shortstop Zack Cozart back in the starting lineup. Cozart, who was slowed by tendinitis in his surgically repaired right knee Sunday, missed Monday's game and is day to day. Jon Moscot, who is dealing with soreness in his non-throwing left shoulder, is still tentatively slated to start but the club has John Lamb on standby after it scratched his scheduled rehab start at Triple-A Louisville on Monday.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.