Giants 11, Reds 2

The San Francisco Giants scored all of seven runs in three games

over the weekend in St. Louis, and only one over the two games they

lost to end the series. They lost the finale Sunday 9-0.

On Monday night, the Giants looked like a different team

entirely – and bouncing back was crucial for a club hoping to stay

in the playoff chase.

Matt Cain ended a three-start winless stretch after being staked

to an early cushion, Andres Torres hit a two-run homer and the

Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 11-2.

”Right now we are under fire in a pennant race,” San Francisco

third baseman Pablo Sandoval said. ”Forget the pennant race. We

need to win games right now.”

Aubrey Huff added a solo homer leading off the eighth. Huff, Pat

Burrell and Freddy Sanchez all doubled in runs in the Giants’

five-run first to knock Edinson Volquez (3-2) out after 2-3 of an

inning for the shortest start of his career. Sanchez finished with

a season-high four hits.

Cain (10-10) retired the final 14 batters he faced and struck

out the side in order in the seventh. He allowed two runs on five

hits in eight innings, struck out seven and walked one.

”It’s a definite momentum builder for us,” Cain said. ”We had

a bad road trip, not something we wanted. It put us in a bit of a

bind. We’ve got a couple people we’re chasing.”

The Giants trail the first-place Padres by 5 1/2 games in the NL

West.

Scott Rolen hit a two-run triple in the third for Cincinnati,

which lost Jim Edmonds and Laynce Nix early to injuries.

Huff hit a two-run double off the center field wall after Torres

drew a leadoff walk and Buster Posey reached on an infield single.

Burrell followed with a double to score Huff, prompting a mound

visit by Reds pitching coach Bryan Price. Volquez threw a wild

pitch two pitches later that sent Burrell to third. After Jose

Guillen struck out, Sandoval hit an RBI single. Juan Uribe walked

and Sanchez doubled home Sandoval.

San Francisco batted around in the first and Volquez was done

after walking Torres for a second time in the inning on his 39th

pitch. Jordan Smith relieved and struck out Posey.

”It’s not dead arm, it’s a poor command of the strike zone,”

Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ”He’s either walking people or

finding the heart of the plate. His changeup and breaking ball,

those balls are up in the heart of the plate. You get the ball up

in the heart of the plate, these are big league hitters, they’re

going to hit them.”

The Giants’ five-run first inning marked their biggest initial

inning since scoring six in the first against the Mets on June 2,

2008, at AT&T Park. Torres became the first San Francisco Giant

to draw two walks in a first inning, according to the Elias Sports

Bureau.

Sandoval had a two-run double in the eighth for his third hit,

then scored on Sanchez’s groundout. Javier Lopez pitched a perfect

ninth, as the final 17 Reds were retired in order.

The NL Central-leading Reds, wrapping up a nine-game West Coast

swing at AT&T Park, had won eight of their last nine and 12 of

16 but couldn’t manage much against Cain after falling behind right

away. Cain threw a season-high 125 pitches.

Edmonds left the game in the top of the sixth with a strained

right oblique and could be headed for the disabled list. He was

hurt on a swing and a miss on the fourth pitch he saw from Cain.

Edmonds grimaced on his follow through and was lifted for

pinch-hitter Drew Stubbs.

”This has been an ongoing deal. It’s been sore the last week,

two weeks,” Edmonds said. ‘Not playing much, I thought it was

going to get better. I guess it have me a false sense of

security.”

Nix sprained his left ankle while beating out an infield single

in the third. Nix came around to score on Rolen’s hit then was

replaced in the bottom half of the inning by Chris Heisey.

The Giants could use some momentum. They have lost their last

three series all to contenders, so this is another key set against

a top team.

”We’re by no means out of this thing,” Huff said. ”We’ve got

to go out, breathe and relax and play baseball.”

New outfielder Cody Ross joined the Giants a day after he was

awarded to them on a waiver claim from the Florida Marlins. Ross

came in as a defensive replacement in center field in the top of

the seventh to make his San Francisco debut.

Former Giants managing partner Peter Magowan stopped by to see

Baker in the visitor’s clubhouse and the two shook hands,

apparently past the rift that led to Baker leaving to manage the

Cubs following San Francisco’s runner-up World Series season of

2002.

”You can only carry stuff around for so long,” said Baker, who

appreciated the goodwill gesture.

The two hadn’t seen each other in more than two years, though

they exchanged letters. Magowan retired from his ownership duties

in September 2008 and said Baker wrote him a thoughtful letter at

the time.

Notes: Volquez pitched one inning in his previous short outing

on June 1, 2009, at St. Louis. … The Giants have won eight of

Cain’s last nine home starts. … A moment of silence was held and

a highlight clip shown for Bobby Thomson, the former New York Giant

who died Aug. 16 at age 86. He is famous for his ”Shot Heard

‘Round the World” in 1951. … The first-pitch temperature was 75

degrees, a rare warm summer evening here.