SAN FRANCISCO — The Cincinnati Reds hope to flex their triples power once again when they meet the San Francisco Giants for the sixth time in nine days on Saturday afternoon.
Scooter Gennett’s second-inning triple helped produce the Reds’ only two runs in their 3-2, 17-inning loss to the Giants in a game that started Friday night and ended Saturday morning.
Gennett, a late-game substitution, also contributed a key triple to the Reds’ 3-2 win in the series opener Thursday. He scored from third on Zack Cozart’s tie-breaking double, giving Cincinnati a fourth straight win against the Giants.
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Gennett’s triples came on consecutive at-bats, a rarity for most teams, but not for the Reds. Backup outfielder Hernan Iribarren also accomplished the feat last September with pinch hits against the New York Mets on back-to-back days.
Gennett needs a triple Saturday to match a three-game run of three-baggers collected by Reds leadoff man Billy Hamilton last week. That also occurred against the Giants, giving the Reds at least one triple in five straight games against San Francisco.
The Reds lead the majors with 14 triples.
Giants left-hander Matt Moore will be the man assigned to keep the Reds in check Saturday.
Moore has started nine games at AT&T Park since being acquired by the Giants from Tampa Bay last July. He has not allowed a triple in any of them.
Then again, Moore hasn’t allowed much of anything in his home starts for the Giants. He has gone 5-1 with a 2.51 ERA in his last eight home starts dating to August.
Moore, who has spent most of his career in the American League, has never faced the Reds.
When he left the stadium about 12 hours before the scheduled start of Saturday’s game, Giants manager Bruce Bochy wasn’t sure who would feel up to surrounding Moore on the field in the third game of the series.
The 17-inning affair was the second longest in AT&T Park history.
Almost surely, the Giants catcher Saturday won’t be Friday’s hero, Buster Posey, who was behind the plate for all 17 innings of the 3-2 win.
“Much needed win,” Bochy assured. “Who knows how that’s going to affect us.”
The Giants had lost six of their previous seven.
They’re scheduled to face Reds right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla on Saturday.
Recalled from Triple-A Louisville earlier in the week, Bonilla will make his first start for the Reds after one previous relief outing in April.
He has never pitched against the Giants.
Like Bochy, Reds manager Bryan Price planned a pregame inventory of his available players before making any other decision about Saturday’s game plan.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to write up a lineup,” he claimed.
Price exhausted all his available position players in the marathon. At one point, Bronson Arroyo, Thursday’s winning pitcher, grabbed a glove and let his manager know he was available to play in the field if necessary.
Likewise, Bochy put Matt Cain, his scheduled starting pitcher Monday, on alert that he was the club’s next relief option.