Reds Blank Giants Behind Effort Of Johnny Cueto

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Photo: AP

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Johnny Cueto pitched seven scoreless innings and Jonny Gomes had three hits and an RBI to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night.Cueto (3-2) allowed just four hits and struck out eight — including the side in order in the third inning — in a dominating performance that ended a four start winless streak.

Nick Masset pitched a scoreless eighth and Francisco Cordero finished the four-hitter for his 12th save in 14 chances as the Reds opened their seven-game West Coast swing with a win.

Miguel Tejada doubled twice, but the Giants managed just two other hits and were shut out for the sixth time this season. San Francisco has been held to one run or fewer in 15 of 63 games this season.

The Giants had a few chances to score in this game, twice getting a runner to third base with one out to no avail. With runners on first and third and one out in the fourth, Cueto struck out Cody Ross and got Brandon Crawford to fly out.

Then in the sixth, Tejada hit a leadoff double and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by No. 3 hitter Freddy Sanchez. The move didn’t pay off when Cueto struck out Aubrey Huff on a pitch in the dirt and got Nate Schierholtz to ground out.

Cueto needed to be that stingy on a night when the Reds’ high-scoring offence managed little against Madison Bumgarner (2-8). Cincinnati’s only run off Bumgarner came when Scott Rolen hit a two-out double in the fourth and scored on Gomes’ single.

The Reds had a chance to add on in the seventh when Gomes reached on a fly ball that fell between Huff, Sanchez and Schierholtz near the right-field line and Edgar Renteria reached on a bunt single. But Ramon Hernandez hit into a double play and Cueto flied out to centre to end that threat.

Bumgarner allowed one run and eight hits in seven innings, striking out seven in his ninth straight quality start. But for the seventh time in his eight losses this season, the Giants were held to one or fewer runs as he was once again done in by bad luck.

Cincinnati added an unearned run in the eighth off Santiago Casilla when Joey Votto doubled with two outs, followed by an intentional walk to Jay Bruce and a walk to Scott Rolen. With Gomes at the plate, a pitch got past Eli Whiteside for a passed ball, allowing Votto to score the second run.

Brandon Phillips added an RBI single in the ninth for the Reds.

Before the game, Renteria was presented his 2010 World Series ring in an on-field ceremony. Renteria was the World Series MVP for the Giants last season before the team decided not to bring him back this year. He went 1-for-4.

There was an odd play in the second inning that didn’t end up hurting the Giants. With Hernandez on second with a leadoff double, Cueto bunted in front of the plate. Huff charged in from first, fielded the ball and fired to third. But Hernandez stayed at second base, allowing Cueto to reach on the fielder’s choice.

Bumgarner recovered to strike out Drew Stubbs and get Phillips to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Notes: Rolen returned to the lineup for the Reds after missing the previous three games with a throat illness. … Bumgarner has one win in 15 career home starts for the Giants. … Whiteside threw out Phillips trying to steal second to end the first inning for just the third caught stealing in the last 23 attempts by Giants catchers. … The Giants are hitting .190 in their last six games.

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