Reds bully Giants to season’s brink

AT&T PARK — The Cincinnati Reds pounced on Giants starter Madison Bumgarner early Sunday night, then the San Francisco offense floundered again as the Reds beat the Giants 9-0 to take a 2-0 lead in the National League Division Series.

The aggressive Reds got to Giants starter Madison Bumgarner early and often. Ryan Ludwick led off the second inning with a solo home run to left-center field, getting his team on the board.

Cincinnati added to its lead with RBI singles by Scott Rolen and Ryan Hanigan in the fourth.

Audio: Giants Manager Bruce Bochy press conference

After Bumgarner allowed two more singles in the inning, his night was done. George Kontos, who pitched two scoreless innings last night, came in and got an inning-ending double play on one pitch to get the Giants out of the jam.

But the damage was done against Bumgarner, who last only 4-2/3  innings and gave up seven hits and four runs.

Clubhouse audio: Madison Bumgarner

But the Reds offense wasn’t done. Cincinnati would break the game open with five runs in the eighth. After Jose Mijares gave up a single to  Joey Votto and walked Ryan Ludwick, Jay Bruce drove them both in with an RBI double.

Two batters later, Hanigan would drive Bruce in with his third RBI of the night. Then Drew Stubbs, facing Guillermo Mota, brought in Hanigan with a triple. Before the inning was over, Brandon Phillips would add one more run with his second double of the night.

Clubhouse audio: Marco Scutaro

The Giants offense couldn’t figure out Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who earned his first postseason win tonight.

Arroyo pitched seven shutout innings, striking out four. He had a perfect game going through 4-2/3 innings until Brandon Belt broke it up with a single to right-center.

Clubhouse audio: Brandon Belt

Brandon Crawford would draw a walk and Posey would walk twice in the later innings. The only extra-base hit by the Giants all night was a double off the wall by Pablo Sandoval in the bottom of the ninth. He would advance to third on a wild pitch, but the Giants failed to drive him in.

Clubhouse audio: Buster Posey

San Francisco ended the night a mere 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position.

While the orange rally rags didn’t do much waving tonight, the crowd of 43,505 did come alive for the sixth and seventh innings.

Tim Lincecum, who was told earlier today that he would probably not start a game in this series, threw four warm-up pitches before taking the mound to a standing ovation.

Lincecum threw two innings, giving up only one hit and striking out two. The crowd stayed on their feet for much of those innings, as Lincecum gave the fans something to really cheer for for the first time all night.

Earlier today, when Giants manager Bruce Bochy broke the news to Lincecum that he would be pitching from the bullpen, Lincecum didn’t complain. In fact, Bochy praised the way the former Cy Young award winner handled himself:

“He’s all in on this; he was great and he understands and says he wants to do whatever he can to help the ball club move on. We have him in the bullpen right now and we’ll see where we’re at after today.”