SAN FRANCISCO — Jay Bruce insists he isn't sitting around and savoring his home run streak.
“There's no time for that,” he said. “You do that in this game and it's too late.”
Bruce homered in his career-high fifth straight game, connecting off Madison Bumgarner and leading Dan Straily and the Cincinnati Reds over the slumping San Francisco Giants 2-1 on Wednesday.
Article continues below ...
Bruce hit his 25th homer of the season. His sixth home run during his five-game streak broke a 1-all tie in the seventh inning.
“One day hopefully a long, long time from now, I can sit back and reflect, but right now there's no time for that, everything's moving too fast,” Bruce said. “It's too demanding a game to kick back and think back about all you've done.”
The NL West-leading Giants got just four hits and lost for the ninth time in 11 games since the All-Star break. The last-place Reds are 8-4 over that stretch.
Straily (6-6) gave up three hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out five in his longest outing of the season.
“He's got great deception,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
“We all look up at the radar gun readings and he's 88 (mph) to 91, but he has a lot of swings and misses on that fastball. He had a lot of check swings, a lot of swings off the plate, and that to me that's what deception is all about,” he said. “It's about how early do hitters see the ball and recognize the spin and speed of the ball.”
Straily improved to 2-0 in his career against Bumgarner.
“Definitely, you take pride in battling against the best in baseball,” Straily said. “It's no different than any other game, but when it happens on a day like today it makes it a little more special.”
Tony Cingrani pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save.
Bumgarner (10-6) allowed one earned run and five hits in eight innings, striking out nine.
The Giants have lost six of his last eight starts. He hasn't had much run support of late, with the Giants scoring 10 runs in his last five games.
“It's disappointing when you have Bum throw the ball the way he did today,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He gave up five hits and couldn't get a win. We just couldn't figure out Straily. We couldn't generate much offensively and it's disappointing when you have your starter throw like that.”
Conor Gillaspie hit a solo homer for the Giants in the second.
San Francisco left fielder Angel Pagan dropped a flyball in the fifth, setting up Tucker Barnhart's tying sacrifice fly.
Joey Votto had two of the Reds' six hits.
Brandon Belt was 0 for 2 with a walk, snapping his 11-game hitting streak against the Reds. He went into the game as a career .398 hitter vs. Cincinnati, including a .522 mark since the beginning of last season.
The Reds hit eight homers in winning the three-game series. Cincinnati has won four straight sets.
“When you look at the whole body of work, we're driving in runs, pitchers are throwing strikes, the bullpen has been much more reliable and we're playing better defense,” Price said. “That mix of things gives you the opportunity to stay in more games and win them.”
Giants: INF Ramiro Pena, who left Tuesday night's game early with a groin injury after taking a bad hop, was a late scratch from Wednesday's lineup.
Reds: Off Thursday, then LHP Brandon Finnegan (5-8, 4.93 ERA) starts at San Diego. He has an 11.05 ERA over his last four outings.
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (13-2, 2.53) will pitch Thursday in the opener of a four-game series against NL East-leading Washington. He is 7-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 11 career starts against the Nationals with a 16-inning scoreless streak dating to 2014.
Jay Bruce is greeted by Adam Duvall, left, after hitting a home run off San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner during the seventh. Eric Risberg/AP