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Giants punch and kick Reds back to earth, 10-7

Votto also hurt himself, in case the headline wasn’t sad enough

Cincinnati Reds v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds may very well start another win streak tomorrow, but they had their current one snapped on Monday. In the series opener in San Francisco, the Giants blew up a typically consistent Sal Romano and kept the bats going throughout a 10-7 victory over the Reds. To add injury to insult, Joey Votto left this one after the fourth inning with lower back tightness.

Losing feels less good than winning.

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Scott Schebler is a 27-year-old outfielder whose numbers have been pretty damn consistent in his three years with the Reds, but he still seems to constantly be on the verge of blossoming into a bona fide stud. That’s the kind of hitter he was Monday, anyway, as he finished the game 3-for-4 with a home run and a double, scoring three times.

This was honestly a tough call. Adam Duvall entered the game late as Votto’s first base replacement and went 2-for-2 with a 3-run homer against the team who gave up on him three years ago, which had to feel better than the pitch he took to the elbow in his previous at-bat. Tucker Barnhart was also extremely good, going 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs. The Reds also got a double from Jesse Winker on a 2-for-5 night, as well as 2.2 scoreless innings of pitching from Jackson Stephens, who was the only arm of the night to hold the Giants without a run.

Key Plays

  • Andrew McCutchen got the Giants started in the bottom of the first with a double to left, which was followed by a Buster Posey walk. Romano got a flyout from Belt for the second out, but then surrendered an RBI single to Evan Longoria and a two-run double to Brandon Crawford. Giants led 3-0.
  • The Reds got on the board in the next inning, thanks to a two-out double from Schebler and RBI single Barnhart. Big Sally then doubled down the left field line, but Blanco’s throw held Barnhart at third, where he would remain after a hard lineout by Billy Hamilton. Reds trailed 3-1.
  • The Giants, meanwhile, kept hitting. McCutchen doubled home Blanco with two outs in the second, and then Kelby Tomlinson singled home two in the third. That would end Romano’s day, as the righty had his ERA balloon by a full run in 2.1 innings of just getting shelled. Giants led 6-1.
  • But still, these Reds can hit now. Schebler singled with one out in the fourth inning, and Barnhart chased him home with a 2-run homer that made it 6-3. Schebler’s third and final hit of the game was a home run to lead off the sixth inning and make it 6-4, after which Chris Stratton decided he’d rather not pitch anymore, walking Barnhart. After that, Bruce Bochy decided he’d rather not see Stratton anymore either, and took him out of the game.
  • Stratton’s replacements held the Reds at bay, but unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for Romano’s. After Stephens looked genuinely good through the fifth, the Reds brought in Dylan Floro and his two-seamer of death for the sixth. Two errors in the inning by Jose Peraza didn’t help Floro much, but he also gave up back-to-back doubles with one out to Posey and Brandon Belt. The Giants scored three times in the inning, and took a 9-4 lead.
  • The two teams traded punches later, with Belt taking Austin Brice deep to start the bottom of the eighth and Duvall crushing his own homer in the ninth. But that’s as close as the Reds got, and they lost 10-7.

Other notes:

  • Votto exiting this game with lower back tightness was a bummer, but was also an extremely 34-year-old-ass thing to have happen. The Reds seem to have worse luck than anyone with seemingly benign injuries, but after seeing Votto limp his way around the bases, it was just nice to hear the injury wasn’t knee/achilles related. Here’s hoping he’s in the lineup within a few days. (UPDATE: Votto already said he feels fine.)
  • Oh yeah, there was a damn earthquake during this game.
  • According the Reds’ Media Relations Twitter, the seven doubles allowed tonight by the pitching staff were the most since May 31, 2016 at Coors Field.
  • Romano got hit hard tonight, but he’d allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of the five starts leading up to it. For a 24-year-old who has gotten acclimated to the big leagues pretty well, it seems fair to give him a do-over.
  • Speaking of young arms, the Reds will send fresh-faced Tyler Mahle to the mound Tuesday opposite lefty Ty Blach for that sweet, sweet 10:15 p.m. EST start time.
  • Tunes.