Cincinnati’s offense is starting to come around after a dormant stretch.
Given how inconsistent Ryan Vogelsong has been, it’s anyone’s guess how the Reds will fare against the San Francisco right-hander.
Cincinnati looks to build on its highest-scoring game in a month and extend a season-high winning streak to five games, while Vogelsong tries to bounce back from a subpar showing in what is forecast to be a rainy Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park.
With Joey Votto out since May 16, which overlapped with cleanup hitter Jay Bruce’s two-week stint on the disabled list, the Reds (27-29) have had a hard time plating runs, averaging 3.6 to rank 28th.
Cincinnati averaged 2.0 runs while batting .209 over a 1-5 stretch that concluded Thursday, but is since averaging 5.8 runs and hitting .281 during its four-game run.
The top four hitters in the lineup went 6 for 15 with seven runs and the Reds took advantage of four errors by the Giants to win 8-3 in Tuesday’s opener. Billy Hamilton had his second straight game with two hits and two runs and Bruce drove in two for his first RBIs since April 25.
"I feel like the path we’re on, everybody is coming together," said Hamilton, who also stole two bases, to the Reds’ official website. "We’re starting to get everything going. I’ve said if we can get everybody healthy, I feel like we’re going to do some great things."
The Reds scored their most runs since an 8-3 win over Milwaukee on May 1, and facing Vogelsong could lead to another strong showing.
Of course, it also could halt the offense’s progress.
Vogelsong (3-2, 3.45 ERA) has yielded one run or less in six of his starts, posting a 0.68 ERA, but at least four runs in the other five, recording an 8.34 ERA. He carried a 13 2-3 scoreless inning streak into St. Louis on Thursday, and promptly permitted four runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-5 win, but didn’t get the decision. The Giants have won six of Vogelsong’s last seven starts.
He hasn’t faced the Reds since yielding one run and three hits in five innings of a 2-1, 10-inning win in Game 3 of the 2012 NL division series. He has a 3.60 ERA without a decision in his last five starts in the series, including the postseason.
The Reds have dominated the regular-season series, winning nine of the last 11 matchups, and 11 of the last 12 at Great American Ball Park.
The Giants (37-20) have lost two of three after winning eight of nine.
Pablo Sandoval’s 12-game hitting streak ended Tuesday but Hunter Pence stayed hot by going 3 for 4 with a homer and double. He is 7 for 18 with two home runs in his last four games, and 12 for 17 in his last four against Cincinnati.
The Reds give the ball to Tony Cingrani, whose spot in the starting rotation could be in jeopardy with Mat Latos scheduled to make potentially his final rehab start Wednesday.
Cingrani (2-5, 4.01) has only gone deeper than six innings in two of his nine starts, and has a 5.29 ERA in losing each of his three outings since coming off the DL. He gave up three runs and seven hits in five-plus innings of a 4-0 defeat to Arizona on Thursday.
The left-hander went 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts against the Giants last season.