Final in 10

Series: Game 1 of 3

San Francisco leads 1-0 (as of 8/18)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 18
San Francisco8Final
in 10
Game 2: Wednesday, August 19
San Francisco1Final
Game 3: Thursday, August 20
San Francisco1Final
in 10

Giants 8

(65-54, 26-34 away)

Reds 5

(50-68, 25-34 home)

    7:10 PM ET, August 18, 2009

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    12345678910 R H E
    SF 0010040003 8 12 0
    CIN 0400100000 5 7 0

    W: B. Howry (1-5)

    L: F. Cordero (1-3)

    S: B. Wilson (29)

    Giants-Reds Preview


    With reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum leading one of the majors' top rotations, the San Francisco Giants' pitching isn't a concern.

    Getting consistent production from the offense will likely determine the team's chances of making its first playoff trip in six years.

    While Lincecum takes the mound in the opener of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds, the Giants' offense looks to build on one of its top games of the season.

    San Francisco (64-54) defeated the New York Mets 10-1 on Monday to split the first four contests of a season-high 11-game road trip and move within one game of wild-card leading Colorado.

    Before batting practice, manager Bruce Bochy talked to his team about finding ways to play better on the road. The Giants, who haven't been to the postseason since 2003, responded by winning for the fourth time in six road games after losing 10 of 13 away from AT&T Park.

    "His message was to let it all hang out," said Aaron Rowand, who homered and had four hits. "We're going to play to win, not play not to lose."

    San Francisco's bats came to life Monday, pounding out a season-high 18 hits for its third victory in eight games. The Giants, who have scored the fifth-fewest runs in the majors (472), have plated seven total runs in their last five losses.

    While the offense has struggled at times, a pitching staff led by Lincecum (12-3, 2.19 ERA) and Matt Cain boasts a major league-best 3.49 ERA.

    Lincecum was the verge of recording his fifth complete game of the season in Wednesday's 4-2, 10-inning win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, but came up just short. The right-hander entered the ninth having allowed one run and two hits with the Giants leading 2-1, but gave up a run and two hits and was removed with two outs.

    Despite the disappointing finish, Lincecum still struck out seven Dodgers to increase the major's best strikeout total to 205 and lowered his major league-leading ERA.

    Lincecum, who is 6-1 with a 1.53 ERA in his last 10 starts, wasn't his sharpest against Cincinnati on Aug. 7, giving up three runs and six hits with seven strikeouts in a 10-5 loss, but didn't get a decision.

    The Giants dropped two of three to the Reds two weeks ago, and have lost four straight games at Great American Ball Park.

    The Reds (50-67) lost the final three games of a four-game series against Washington -- owners of baseball's worst record -- and are a major league-worst 8-24 since July 11.

    Cincinnati had a chance to beat the Nationals on Sunday, but Washington scored twice in the eighth to win 5-4. Rookie second baseman Drew Sutton allowed the go-ahead run to score from third when he lobbed a relay throw to first baseman Joey Votto.

    "We have to keep learning," manager Dusty Baker told the Reds' official Web site.

    Baker gives the ball to Homer Bailey (2-4, 7.48), who is set to make his first start since leaving Wednesday against St. Louis with a bruised left foot.

    Bailey didn't record and out and last just 12 pitches after Albert Pujols lined a single that hit his foot. The right-hander allowed singles to all three batters he faced, and all three scored in the 5-2 loss.

    Bailey opposed Lincecum and the Giants two weeks ago, and permitted five runs and nine hits in six innings, but didn't receive a decision. He has yielded at least five runs in five of his 10 starts this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     San FranciscoCincinnati
    Current StreakW1W2
    Last 106-47-3

    Pitching Matchup

    San FranciscoCincinnati
    T. Lincecum
    15-7, 2.48 ERA

    Last Game:
    10/1 vs ARI
    7.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = Win
    H. Bailey
    8-5, 4.53 ERA

    Last Game:
    10/4 vs PIT
    6.0 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.San FranciscoCincinnati
    1. E. Velez, LF C. Dickerson, CF
    2. E. Renteria, SS W. Taveras, CF
    3. P. Sandoval, 3B J. Votto, 1B
    4. B. Molina, C B. Phillips, 2B
    5. R. Winn, RF W. Balentien, LF
    6. R. Garko, 1B A. Rosales, 3B
    7. A. Rowand, CF R. Hanigan, C
    8. J. Uribe, 2B P. Janish, SS
    9. T. Lincecum, P H. Bailey, P