for this game

Giants take aim at rebound effort against Reds

Jun 4, 2014 - 2:49 PM ( - The San Francisco Giants aim to get back on track when they continue a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday at Great American Ball Park.

The Giants dropped an 8-3 decision in Tuesday's series opener and starting pitcher Tim Lincecum struggled through just 4 1/3 innings. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner was hammered for eight runs and six hits, including a home run, with three strikeouts and three walks.

It didn't help Lincecum that the Giants committed four errors. His ERA went from 4.18 to 5.01.

"A lot of people think that there's a big space between being good and not being good," Lincecum told the club's website. "I think it's a small fraction of space to make up."

Hunter Pence went 3-for-4 with a home run for the Giants, who had won eight of their last 10 games and still own the best record in the majors at 37-21. The Giants dropped to 18-12 on the road this season.

Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-3 and had hit safely in each of his previous 12 games, batting .386 in that span.

The Giants have won each of Ryan Vogelsong's last three starts and he gets the nod Wednesday in Cincinnati. Vogelsong is 2-0 in those three appearances and posted a no-decision in last Thursday's 6-5 win at St. Louis, as he was touched for four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Vogelsong has lasted at least six innings in seven straight outings and is 3-2 with a 3.45 ERA in 11 starts this season. The right-hander has faced the Reds 15 times (8 starts) in his career and is 2-3 with a 5.08 ERA against them.

The Reds are riding a season-high four-game winning streak and started a 10- game homestand on a high note with Tuesday's victory.

Cincinnati scored four runs in the first and fifth innings, and was led by Homer Bailey's six solid innings on the hill. Bailey held the Giants to three runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked one. He has posted wins in three straight starts.

"Homer was good," Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco said. "(He) was able to make pitches when he needed to. He got better as the game went on as he usually does."

J.J. Hoover and Logan Ondrusek combined for three scoreless innings of relief.

Mesoraco hit a two-run homer in the first inning and both Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips drove in two runs for the Reds, who have won 11 of their last 12 regular-season games at home versus San Francisco. Bruce posted the 500th RBI in his career.

The Reds, who have scored at least four runs in each of the past four games, are two games under .500 at 27-29 and sit 6 1/2 games off the NL Central lead. They will also host Philadelphia and Los Angeles on this current homestand.

Reds injured slugger Joey Votto is slowly gaining his health back and has been on the disabled list since May 21 with a strained left quadriceps. Votto was supposed to take batting practice, run the bases and take ground balls, but rain Tuesday halted those plans.

Votto hasn't played since May 15 versus San Diego and is batting .257 with six home runs and 12 RBI.

"I feel good, a lot better than a few weeks ago," Votto told the club's website Tuesday. "I'm looking forward to getting out there and being a part of the routine. It's been awhile since I've been able to do the things that are asked of us on a daily basis. I'm excited."

Meanwhile, Cincinnati has lost Tony Cingrani's last four starts and he draws the start versus the Giants. Cingrani is 0-3 since returning from injury and took the loss in last Thursday's 4-0 setback at Arizona, allowing three runs -- two earned -- in five innings.

Cingrani has a 2-5 record in nine starts with a 4.01 ERA and is 1-0 in two career starts against the Giants.