Reds ride four homers to victory over Giants

Reds ride four homers to victory over Giants

CINCINNATI -- Slugging four home runs off Jake Peavy -- including three in the bottom of the second inning -- the Reds powered their way to a 7-4 victory over the Giants on Wednesday to salvage the finale of their three-game series.

Brandon Belt continued his hot road trip with a leadoff homer for the Giants against Dan Straily in the second inning, but the Reds had a strong response in the bottom half. Brandon Phillips led off with his second homer of the season -- a drive to left field -- and Eugenio Suarez added a two-run homer to center field. With two outs, Zack Cozart pulled a two-run homer inside the left-field foul pole -- his third of the season. Peavy, who allowed three home runs in an inning for the first time in his career, also surrendered Adam Duvall's solo shot with one out in the bottom of the sixth.

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Over his six innings, Peavy gave up seven runs and eight hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. It was his first loss in 13 career starts against Cincinnati.

Peavy has a 9.00 ERA in six starts. Asked if this was the toughest stretch he has endured in his career, he replied, "Results-wise, for sure."

Straily provided the fourth straight quality start from the Reds rotation with 6 1/3 innings, three runs, six hits, two walks, four strikeouts and two home runs allowed. He loaded the bases with one out in the seventh on two singles and a walk. Lefty reliever Tony Cingrani took over, got a sacrifice fly and worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Straily's effective outing

Ross Ohlendorf pitched the ninth and gave up a pair of two-out doubles -- including Denard Span's RBI two-base hit. That extended the Reds bullpen's Major League record streak to 22 straight team games with at least one run allowed.

"Having a four-run lead coming in was great. I gave up a couple of hits, but luckily they didn't matter," Ohlendorf said. "If it'd been a tie game or a one-run game, they would have. Tony did a great job coming in with the bases loaded and only giving up the one run. Dan pitched great, especially to start the season in the bullpen and go to the rotation and hit the ground running like he's done has really been impressive."

Ohlendorf slams the door

Suarez comes through: Suarez was dropped from the second spot to the sixth spot in the lineup the last couple of series and was 0-for-6 on the homestand entering the day. But he delivered in the big second inning when he slugged Peavy's 2-2 pitch for his team-leading sixth homer of the season, a two-run shot. Suarez had a three-hit day with singles also coming in the third and eighth innings.

Suarez's RBI single

"I like him in that position for run production, not for being disappointed with him in the two-hole," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We should have some guys out there for him to drive in with him further down in the lineup as opposed to eight, nine and [top spot], it's not as many opportunities to produce runs."

Conor's clout: Back in the Giants organization after spending 2013-15 with the White Sox, Conor Gillaspie replaced a resting Matt Duffy and delivered a fourth-inning homer. It was Gillaspie's first homer as a Giant since he hit an inside-the-park homer at AT&T Park on Sept. 27, 2011, against Colorado.

Gillaspie's solo blast

Cozart back with a bang: Cozart hadn't played since Sunday because of tendinitis in his surgically repaired right knee. His homer was his third of the season and continued his strong year at the plate. He felt the two days off since he had to exit Sunday's game at Pittsburgh in the eighth inning were beneficial.

"When it initially happened in Pittsburgh, I was pretty nervous going into the testing because I didn't know what to expect. But when they said everything felt strong, that obviously made me feel good. Now it's just something I have to manage all year, just a little tendinitis. I'll probably have it off and on. I just have to take a day here or there when I need it, but be ready to play every day. Those two days were good for me to have off. Today I felt great."

Cozart's two-run homer

Belt buckles down: Belt continued his torrid offensive pace with two hits, including a second-inning home run. Belt is batting .438 (14-for-32) with five extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in his last 12 games.

Belt said his success stems from discovering a fresh hitting approach last year at about the same time he sustained his season-ending concussion in mid-September.

"I found something mechanically and approach-wise that I liked," he said. "It gave me the ability to put the bat on the ball more often and the ability to see the ball deep. I continued to think about that during the offseason."

"I would love for them to go out there and really shut down the opponent and not let anybody score but it's a step in the right direction. We went out there and we finished a game. Two guys were in the zone and throwing strikes. It makes a difference." -- Price on the bullpen finishing the final eight outs for a team win

Posey's sac fly in the 7th

Giants: Thursday's 7:15 p.m. PT series opener against Colorado launches a seven-game homestand. Matt Cain, who faced Colorado in his Major League debut on Aug. 29, 2005, will confront the Rockies again to begin the four-game set.

Reds: The homestand continues Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET with the four-game series opener vs. the Brewers. Alfredo Simon, who has struggled to find success thus far this season, will get the start for Cincinnati.

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

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for 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.