Kevin Gausman's nasty, diving splitter and fastball are confounding enough for hitters, but when his slider is working, too, the San Francisco Giants starter doesn't give up much.
The 30-year-old right-hander put together another solid start on Wednesday night. With all three pitches working, he allowed just one Cincinnati hit through six innings as the NL-West leading Giants cruised to a 4-0 win over the flailing Reds.
“My slider from the get-go was really good tonight, and that kind of alleviated some of the pressure off me, for sure,” said Gausman (4-0), whose 1.66 ERA through nine starts puts him among the NL leaders. “It's a pitch I throw pretty rarely, to be honest. To have a good feel for it straight out of the gate, it was nice."
Mike Tauchman had an RBI single in the fifth for San Francisco, and Buster Posey padded the lead with a three-run double in the ninth, one of his three hits.
The Giants got a great outing from a starter in beating the Reds for the third straight night. Logan Webb threw six shutout innings Monday in a 6-3 win, and Anthony DeSclafani permitted one run over seven innings in a 4-2 victory Tuesday.
“I just think we've got a good thing going,” said Gausman, who didn’t allow a hit until Tucker Barnhart led off the fifth with a double.
Cincinnati managed just two more hits after Gausman handed the game to the bullpen. Tyler Rogers put a couple of runners on in the Reds ninth but worked out of it.
“Gausman has been pitching well all year,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “The strike zone must have looked a mile wide. He was throwing pitches that just clipped the corners.”
Two starts removed from his no-hitter May 7 against Cleveland, left-hander Wade Miley (4-4) gave up a run and six hits through 4 2/3 innings for Cincinnati. His early exit came because of a sore foot.
THANKS FOR THAT
Gausman's shutdown outing was aided by some defensive gems. With a runner on first in the fourth, Tauchman robbed Eugenio Suárez of an extra-base hit with a leaping catch against the left-field wall. The Reds put two on in the fifth, but third baseman Evan Longoria made a slick play on Jonathan India's grounder for an inning-ending, third-to-first double play.
“I would have to say, as a collective group, we aren’t doing too good of a job of getting the pitch that we want to hit. A lot of soft contact,” Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos said. “Even when we’re out in front of the count, still sometimes expanding and hitting a pitcher’s pitch. But at the end of the day, they drive nice cars, too, so show up and get ’em tomorrow.”
Giants: INF Wilmer Flores was put on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain sustained while running the bases Tuesday night. ... Donovan Solano (calf strain) was reinstated from the 10-day IL and started at second base.
Reds: INF Mike Moustakas was absent from the starting lineup for the fifth straight game with a bruised heel. INF/OF Nick Senzel is also banged up and didn't start. Moustakas has pinch-hit the last two nights. ... With 1B Joey Votto also sidelined, backup catcher Tyler Stephenson got the start at first base with a mitt borrowed from Moustakas.
Cincinnati will try to try to avoid a sweep on Thursday afternoon, sending right-hander Tyler Mahle (2-1) to the mound to face old friend Johnny Cueto (2-1) in the finale of the four-game series. Cueto spent his first eight seasons with the Reds and earned the first of his two All-Star selections with them in 2014.
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