San Francisco

Crawford Hits Grand Slam, Giants Pound Reds 11-2

Brandon Crawford hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs Saturday night, and Hunter Pence scored three times in his return from a broken forearm, leading the San Francisco Giants to an 11-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The defending World Series champions are hoping their offense gets a boost from Pence's return. The right fielder was hit by a pitch during spring training, causing a fracture just above the left wrist. He had hits in his first two at-bats off Mike Leake (2-2), helping San Francisco pull ahead 5-0.

Crawford's fourth career grand slam in the fifth inning made it 9-0, the most runs that Leake has allowed in his career. Brandon Belt and Gregor Blanco had solo shots off Leake.

The Giants have scored 21 runs in the last two games at Great American Ball Park, their best two-game total of the season. They entered the series second-to-last in the NL in runs scored.

Ryan Vogelsong (2-2) finally won on the road. He'd been 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA on away from home this season, with batters hitting .385 off him. The Reds managed two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings, including Jay Bruce's solo homer.

Pence was hit by a fastball from the Cubs' Corey Black on March 5. He played five games on a minor league rehabilitation assignment and felt good enough to tell the Giants that he was ready. He proved that he wasn't bluffing in his first two plate appearances.

Belt hit his second homer in two days in the second inning, and Pence followed with a double to right-center. He came around on Crawford's single for a 2-0 lead.

Gregor Blanco, batting leadoff because of his recent hitting tear, hit his first homer of the season in the third inning. Blanco is on a 9-for-18 hitting streak.

Pence singled in the fourth and came around on Crawford's double. Casey McGehee's single made it 5-0. In the fifth inning, Pence drew a walk to set up Crawford's grand slam.

Giants second baseman Joe Panik went 0 for 5, snapping his hitting streak at a career-high 11 games.


Giants: Manager Bruce Bochy thinks Pence is in good enough shape to go nine innings, but will give him a day off occasionally as he gets used to playing regularly.

Reds: Left-hander Sean Marshall will have surgery next week for a tear in his pitching shoulder. He had surgery last season, when he tore the labrum, and was trying to make a comeback when the latest injury occurred.


Giants: Chris Heston is coming off his first career complete game, a two-hitter for an 8-1 win over the Astros.

Reds: Anthony DeSclafani has given up at least three runs in each of his last four starts

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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