Reds take advantage of Giant errors to win
Five runs come across in ninth after Nix ties game in eighth
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Reds are at that juncture in the season where even the smallest of achievements become so glaringly obvious in the backdrop of constant losing. Justin Lehr's unlikely four-hit shutout Wednesday gave Cincinnati something else to think about.
Friday night's 10-5 win over the playoff-hunting San Francisco Giants certainly will, too. The victory marked Cincinnati's first two-game win streak since July 1-2.
To do it, the lineup scored seven times against the Giants' bullpen, just after reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum left with a 5-3 lead after seven.
Closer Brian Wilson allowed pinch-hitter Laynce Nix's game-tying two-run single in the eighth, then walked three in the ninth, the last of which pushed the go-ahead run across home plate. That only scratched the surface of the Reds' uprising -- they also scored on two (of five total) fielding errors, a Brandon Medders wild pitch and a sacrifice fly.
"It wasn't easy, but we needed it. We got some breaks tonight, big-time breaks," manager Dusty Baker said after his team began its six-game road trip with their sixth straight victory against the Giants, this time in front of 41,744 at AT&T Park. "That's a good club over there. To give Lincecum a no-decision, that's quite a feat.
"Wilson's a tough guy. We took some close pitches and didn't chase. ... It was just a matter of concentration and focus." Added Brandon Phillips, one of three Reds to walk and score in the final inning: "We were just up there battling. We didn't swing the bat, because we didn't think we could hit those pitches."
David Weathers (3-3) pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, but, as if something was in the air or the Gatorade coolers, Reds closer Francisco Cordero also allowed the Giants to load the bases in the home half of the ninth. Unlike his Bay Area counterparts, he escaped unscathed.
The late-inning comeback and a new modest win streak stole the postgame attention away from Reds starter Homer Bailey. The hurler surrendered two costly long balls -- one on a hanging curveball to Bengie Molina in the first and another on a first-pitch fastball to Eugenio Velez in the fifth -- that dug the Reds' early hole.
Bailey pitched well around his two mistakes, but not well enough to overcome them and secure a decision. Interestingly enough, he allowed eight home runs in eight 2008 starts and has given up nine in nine 2009 outings.
"I just kind of battled out there, and fortunately I got pretty good teammates around me who really picked me up tonight," the 23-year-old pitcher said, adding he had no qualms about the two pitches that resulted in Giants' dingers.
Bailey allowed five runs on nine hits, increasing his season ERA to 7.11.
On the other side, Tim Lincecum's rose to a modest 2.20, as the Reds offense collected three runs (two earned) against the All-Star right-hander. But the Reds' most meaningful damage came against the Giants' bullpen.
Down 5-3 in the eighth, Cincinnati loaded the bases against Jeremy Affeldt and Sergio Romo before Wilson entered the game looking for a five-out save. Instead, Nix stepped up and smacked a two-run single for the 5-5 tie.
"The guys in front of me really grinded away at [their] at-bats," Nix said. "In that situation, it was great to come through like that, tie the game and give us a chance to win.
"It's about time we got a ball to drop in at the right time. It's been a long time coming for us."
Andrew Pentis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.