Crawford Slam, Pence’s Return Lift Giants To Victory Over Cincinnati

Coming off an offensive explosion in Friday night’s 10-2 win over the Reds, The Giants welcomed back right-fielder Hunter Pence with open arms.

Pence did not disappoint.

With Pence going 2-for-3, a Brandon Crawford grand slam, a sharp Ryan Vogelsong, and a combined total of 16 hits for the Giants, San Francisco was able to take game two from the Reds with a final score 11-2.

The Giants scored first when Brandon Belt hit his second home run of the season (the first one occurred last night). Hunter Pence, batting sixth, made an immediate impact with a loud double to center field, followed by a Brandon Crawford RBI single putting the Giants up 2-0.

The Giants tacked on in the third when Gregor Blanco, who has been swinging a hot bat with 7-for-his-last-13 and in the lead-off position for slumping Nori Aoki, rocketed his first home run of the season over the head of center fielder Brennan Boesch, Giants up 3-0.

The fourth inning was more of the same with another base hit for Pence, followed by a Crawford RBI double. Casey McGehee, who grounded into a double play in his first at-bat, added on to make it 5-0 with a line drive to center field.

Reds starter Mike Leake seemed to fatigue in the fifth inning giving up a single to Buster Posey, followed by another single to Belt, and a walk to Pence to load the bases. Leake then left a fast ball up in the zone to Crawford who made him pay, drilling a grand slam to clear the bases, 9-0. Crawford has been absolutely mashing his way through both left and right-handed pitching, batting 19-for-54 in his past 17 games and leading the club with 24 RBIs and tied with Posey with six home runs. The six RBI game also marked a career high for the homegrown shortstop. If he keeps this up through July, he should be a no-brainer for the All Star Game, especially with his skipper Bruce Bochy at the helm.

Burke Badenhop replaced Leake in the sixth and gave up a single to Ryan Vogelsong to lead off the inning. Blanco continued to have a good night, lining another hit to center field, moving Vogelsong to third. Aoki, who came into the game for Angel Pagan, hit into a fielder’s choice, leaving Vogelsong in a rundown that resulted in an out. Fortunately, the Giants were able to capitalize on runners in scoring position when Posey hit an RBI single which scored Blanco, followed by another RBI single for Belt, scoring Aoki, 11-0.

Vogelsong (5.2IP, 6H, 2R, 4BB, 2K) who had been throwing darts and successfully pitching to contact for the first few five innings, ran into some trouble in the sixth. While being able to suppress Tod Frazier, who has great lifetime numbers against Vogey (5-for-10), he gave up a home run to power hitter Jay Bruce, scoring the Reds first run of the game, 11-1. Brandon Phillips and Tucker Barnhart both followed up with singles and Skip Schumaker helped drive in another run with a double, 11-2. Despite troubles in the sixth, Vogelsong had a strong out, bouncing back from rocky road starts that left him winless with a 13.50 ERA. His ability to pitch around jams and get out of the innings today was nothing short of encouraging, especially in a hitters park like Great American.

The bullpen was able to help close out the ball game with Jean Machi coming in and throwing 2.1 innings and allowing only one hit and no runs. George Kontos had an opportunity to close for the Giants and he logged a clean inning, securing the win for SF.

On deck in the final game of he series, Chris Heston (3-3, 2.91 ERA) faces off against righty Anthony DeSclafani (2-3, 2.79 ERA) to help close out the sweep. First pitch at 10:10am PST.

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