Just like that, Giants’ streak fizzles

The Giants’ streak of 36 straight scoreless innings didn’t last long against the Reds on a windy night at AT&T Park.

In fact, it didn’t even make it past the first pitch.

Reds’ rookie shortstop Zack Cozart hit a first-pitch fastball from Matt Cain into the left-field bleachers to begin the game, quickly dashing the Giants’ hopes at a fifth-consecutive shutout.

An unusually sloppy Cain then walked center fielder Drew Stubbs, and first baseman Joey Votto and right fielder Jay Bruce later followed with doubles.

Cain settled down after the first few batters, striking out Ryan Ludwick and Scott Rolen. But by the time the barrage was over, the Reds put three runs on the board before the Giants even came to the bat.

Reds hitters continued to hit Cain hard throughout, as he gave up many loud outs to the warning track and sharp base hits. The Horse gutted out a tough 6-2/3 innings, giving up one more run in the sixth — on a home run to the opposing pitcher, Mike Leake — and another in the seventh before giving way to Clay Hensley.

Leake shut down the Giants for the first eight innings, scattering 8 hits and a walk until Pablo Sandoval launched a home run over the brick wall in right field with one out in the ninth.

Leake finished the ninth for the first complete game of his three-year career. The Giants couldn’t squeeze out a single hit in eight chances with runners in scoring position.

Elsewhere in Orange, Pitcher Brad Penny was called up from Triple-A Fresno. Giants Manager Bruce Bochy told reporters before the game that reliever Shane Loux, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a neck injury before the game, simply needed a break to recover:

“He’s doing better but it looks like he’s going to be down for two, three, or four days if not longer. … You have to give it time.”

Bochy said Penny would pitch primarily in middle and late relief but added:

“Things can change.”

Bochy also noted third baseman Pablo Sandoval’s improved defense at third as he has gotten more playing time. Right on cue, Sandoval made a fielding error, his sixth of the season, but also made a fantastic pick of a line drive to third off the bat of Stubbs in the top of the ninth inning.

Giants’ outfielder Melky Cabrera has come back to Earth of late, hitting .269 in his previous 29 at-bats prior to the game. Cabrera went 1-4 with a single during the game, lowering his season average to .356 and tying him with Votto for third in the National League. Votto continues to sizzle with three hits in five AB’s against the Giants.

In the field, Cabrera added to his All Star resume with another sparkling defensive play. With two outs and a Bruce on second for the Reds, Ludwick singled off Clay Hensley. Cabrera picked up the ball and fired a strike to Buster Posey, who applied the tag to Bruce to save a run and end the inning.


Collin Baker is a senior at Bellarmine College Preparatory. The Giants welcomed Collin and a team of Newsroom by the Bay 2012 staffers to AT&T Park for the game. Video produced by Marisa Anz, Malik Grandbery and Clare Mathias: