National League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, June 28th (All times Eastern)
Cincinnati Reds (41-33) at San Francisco Giants (43-33), 10:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Johnny Cueto (9-3, 2.21) San Francisco - Madison Bumgarner (9-4, 3.10)
(Sports Network) - Johnny Cueto has yet to lose this month.
The same goes for Madison Bumgarner.
Tonight, the two will square off in the opener of a four-game series between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Cueto is 4-0 with a sparkling 1.47 earned run average in his four starts this month for Cincinnati and is coming off Saturday's 6-0 blanking of Minnesota in which he delivered seven shutout innings and nine strikeouts.
Cueto pushed his record to 9-3 in 15 starts and lowered his ERA to 2.21. The right-hander has lasted at least seven innings in five straight starts and is 4-2 in eight stints as the guest this season. Cueto has made three career starts against San Francisco, going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA over 22 innings.
Bumgarner has made five starts for the Giants in June and sports a 4-0 mark to go along with 3.03 ERA in that time. Bumgarner survived a 9-8 win at Oakland his last time out on Saturday and gave up four runs and a season-high 11 hits in six innings. He has pitched that many innings in every game (14) since his 2012 debut, when he tossed four innings in a loss at Arizona on April 7.
The young left-hander hasn't had much success in his career against the Reds as evidenced by his 0-2 mark and 8.56 ERA in three starts.
Bumgarner's teammate, two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, put together a strong performance to help San Francisco complete a three-game sweep of the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in Wednesday's 3-0 triumph and hurled seven shutout innings. It was his first win since April 28 and was 0-6 during a 10-game drought.
"Timmy was Timmy today," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "He came off a pretty good game in Oakland, carried that into today's game and threw great."
Angel Pagan drove in two runs, Ryan Theriot had two hits and a pair of runs scored, and Brandon Crawford posted three hits for the Giants, who are now tied with LA atop the National League West standings and have won five of six games.
San Francisco is 3-0 on a seven-game homestand and held the Dodgers scoreless for three straight games (13-0) for the first time franchise history. It also posted just the second sweep of the season and took all four meetings with the Cubs from June 1-4. The Giants are 10 games over .500 at home this season (24-14).
Meanwhile, the Reds hold a two-game lead over both Pittsburgh and St. Louis in the NL Central and will kick off an 11-game odyssey in California tonight. They will also visit the Dodgers and Padres on the trek and just went 3-3 on a six-game homestand.
Cincinnati failed to record a three-game sweep of Milwaukee by dropping an 8-4 decision to the Brewers in Wednesday's series finale, as starter Homer Bailey gave up five runs -- four earned -- in four innings. Two of the seven hits yielded by Bailey were home runs.
Ryan Ludwick provided the Cincinnati offense with two home runs. The Reds have now lost six of their last nine games.
"You feel good about two out of three, but you would feel great if it's three out of three before going out on this road trip," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on the club's official website. "We just have to regroup on the coast."
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who will be celebrating his 31st birthday today, may not play on Thursday for precautionary reasons after he was hit in the head by Aramis Ramirez in the third inning. Ramirez's arm struck Phillips in the head on an unsuccessful steal attempt. Phillips was replaced in the sixth inning.
"I just felt kind of light after that, and I started seeing stars and stuff," Phillips told the Reds' site. "I started feeling like I was off balance a little bit."
The Reds won two of three games against the Giants earlier this season and are 7-3 in the past 10 meetings between the clubs.
06/28 11:31:56 ET