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CIN@SF: Leake goes 3-for-4, stymies Giants over six

SAN FRANCISCO -- Don't ask the Reds why they've dominated the Giants one year after San Francisco bounced them in last year's playoffs on the way to its second World Series championship in three years.

After Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Giants at AT&T Park, the Reds would prefer to acknowledge their 6-1 season series win and not ask any questions as they head to Los Angeles to continue their 11-game road trip with stops at all three National League West Coast cities.

"We've played better than them," right fielder Jay Bruce said. "I don't really know if there's really a way to explain it. I don't know."

Bruce could point to the Reds' offense if he'd like, which recorded 55 hits, 15 doubles and 22 extra-base hits in the four-game series to set an AT&T Park record.

Bruce himself knocked an RBI double in the third inning and scored two batters later to account for two of the three runs scored in the inning. The two-bagger was his 30th of the season -- just five behind his career-best 35 set last season.

"It's one of those things, the ebb and flow of the game," Bruce said of the Reds' recent offensive output. "We're a very, very good offensive team. You get a couple guys hot at once and we got some action."

Cincinnati's success at the plate in San Francisco was illustrated by its production in run-scoring situations. The Reds hit 15-for-50 (.300) with runners in scoring position over the four games and outscored the Giants 44-12 in the seven contests between the two teams this year.

The Giants, in comparison, failed to capitalize on the 12 hits allowed by Reds starter Mike Leake in six-plus innings. They only managed a lone run in the third inning against the right-hander, who lowered his ERA from 2.79 to 2.76 in spite of the large hit total.

He pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and was relieved by right-hander Sam LeCure with the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh. LeCure escaped the jam by striking out Jeff Francoeur, inducing a grounder from Buster Posey to get a forceout at home and striking out Guillermo Quiroz to end the threat.

"There was a time they had more hits than we did but we scored the runs," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It wasn't a really pretty game -- it was a little chillier out there than what we're used to this time of year -- and it was just nice to come out here and win three out of four before going to L.A. tonight."

"We had them on the ropes every inning," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We squandered too many opportunities out there. It doesn't matter how many hits you get, it's how you get them sometimes. We just couldn't get a timely hit."

The Reds became well acquainted with San Francisco's bullpen after no Giants starter made it through the fifth inning in any of the four games; Barry Zito's 4 2/3 innings in Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader marked the club's longest outing, and Giants relievers accounted for 21 1/3 of the 36 total innings.

Chad Gaudin continued the trend, making his exit 3 2/3 innings into the game after yielding six runs on seven hits and five walks -- the largest run total he's allowed since Aug. 5, 2009.

"Chad's been so good, but it was a rough outing for him," Bochy said. "There were a couple plays we couldn't make that didn't help."

San Francisco made a late push with a two-run double from Pablo Sandoval with one out in the eighth, but the Giants could do no further damage.

Baker called for closer Aroldis Chapman to begin warming up in the bullpen as a precautionary measure, but Logan Ondrusek saved his arm.

"I wanted to take some of my guys out and I just told them at that time, 'They always make one more push on you, in the seventh, eighth and ninth,' and that's what they did," Baker said. "We knew. I've seen it too many times when they make that run at you. You don't make the plays, they get a couple of hits and the next thing you know you're in trouble.

"That's why we had Chapman up in the eighth just in case. That was about to get a little ugly, plus you know they know how to come back. They have a lot of pride out there and they were just the world champions last year. They're not going to just lie down for you and let you beat them up."

Joey Votto extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 36 and finished the night 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Todd Frazier went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks. The third baseman hit safely in all seven games against the Giants this season, going 12-for-28 with a home run, 10 RBIs and five doubles -- the most hit in a series at AT&T Park by an opposing player.

Leake even contributed on the offensive end, recording his third career three-hit game and scoring a run to help his cause.

"I don't know if that combination's occurred too often," Leake said.

Added Baker: "I can't figure it out. We dominated in the first two games of the series last year and they came back to win it. It's baseball. I've been around so long that nothing surprises me too much." Comments