Giants look to keep up winning ways vs. Reds

June 9, 2011, 2:59 pm
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June 9, 2011

GIANTS (35-27) vs.

Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Cincinnati Reds are eagerly trying to string some wins together. A weekend in San Francisco might not provide the best opportunity to make that happen.

Looking to build on a winning homestand, the Reds open a four-game set against the NL West-leading Giants on Thursday night.

Though Cincinnati (32-31) lost 4-1 to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, it finished with a 5-4 homestand. The Reds, however, have dropped 14 of 21 since winning five in a row May 13-17.

"We're just fighting to get every win we can, and we just can't seem to be able to catch a nice streak where they seem to come easy," Wednesday's loser Bronson Arroyo told the Reds' official website. "Everything has been difficult. It's not going to get any easier in the next couple of weeks."

After San Francisco, the Reds head to Los Angeles for three games. Cincinnati is 12-16 away from home and lost eight of 10 on its most recent trip against Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

"We're real close," manager Dusty Baker said. "Perhaps we'll turn it around on this road trip. The last road trip, we had a bad one, so we're due for an excellent one."

The Reds did not fare well last season in San Francisco, getting outscored 38-19 while losing two of three Aug. 23-25, and they now face a Giants team that beat Washington 3-1 on Wednesday for its seventh win in 10 games.

Matt Cain struck out 11 for his first complete game of the season, and Brandon Crawford hit a tiebreaking triple in the seventh inning.

San Francisco (35-27) has scored 15 runs but allowed 11 while taking two of three in consecutive series against Colorado and the Nationals.

Trying to follow up Cain's stellar effort with another strong outing of his own, Madison Bumgarner (2-7, 3.42 ERA) takes the mound for the Giants.

The left-hander has a 2.01 ERA over his last eight starts but went 2-4 and received an average of 2.85 runs of support. Bumgarner allowed an earned run in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to the Rockies on Saturday.

"I've got in a pretty good rhythm the last few starts and it feels good," he said. "I'm getting to where I want to be. I'm making pitches and I feel good."

Bumgarner allowed eight runs and three homers in 2 2-3 innings of his only previous start versus Cincinnati, a 12-11, 12-inning loss Aug. 25.

Joey Votto hit one of his two homers in that contest off Bumgarner and batted .400 (8 for 20) with six RBIs over his last five games versus San Francisco. He's hit .370 with two homers and eight RBIs in seven games this month.

Scheduled Reds starter Johnny Cueto (2-2, 2.27) has not allowed more than three runs in any of his six starts but is 0-2 with a 3.46 ERA over his last four. He surrendered two runs in seven innings of an 11-8, 11-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

The right-hander did not receive a decision after allowing four runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 6-5 loss to the Giants on June 7, 2010.

San Francisco's Freddy Sanchez, 0 for 8 over the last two games, is a .357 hitter (5 for 14) versus Cueto.