AT&T PARK — In an outing where the first four batters all scored, Andrew Suarez showed a lot of maturity by keeping the Giants within striking distance in Wednesday’s 6-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
A nine-pitch battle to open the game led to a Jose Peraza single, and after Scooter Gennett followed suit with a hit of his own, Joey Votto brought the game’s first run home with an RBI single. Adam Duvall followed with a three-run homer, staking Cincinnati out to a 4-0 lead.
“It’s always fun coming back here,” said Duvall, who the Giants traded to the Reds at the 2015 trade deadline. “This is one of my favorite places to play, and it’s always good to see the guys over there because there’s a lot of guys that I played with.”
From there, Suarez locked in, allowing just one unearned run on a passed ball as he managed to make it through six innings. Only two relievers, Cory Gearrin and Jose Valdez, were needed out of the bullpen, giving the others a chance to rest before a four-game weekend set with the Colorado Rockies.
“There was a lot of adrenaline early. At first, I was trying to overthrow everything,” Suarez said. “Once the home run happened, I tried to settle down and get some ground balls to minimize my pitch count.”
Suarez retired 10 in a row after a Peraza second-inning single. Had the Giants offense come through with a big hit, he might have even come away with a win.
Instead, San Francisco went just 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Of the team’s 12 hits, none went for extra bases after the third inning. The Giants put two runs on Matt Harvey in the first, a rally that could have been bigger if not for a splendid diving catch by Duvall to turn Pablo Sandoval’s well-struck ball into a sacrifice fly. Brandon Belt hit his third homer of the series to cut the deficit to a run in the third.
Missed chances in the second and sixth proved to doom the Giants. Miguel Gomez picked up his first hit of the year to lead off the second and went to third on a Kelby Tomlinson double, but neither would score. Suarez grounded out against a drawn-in infield, and Gomez was unable to read Duvall’s poor throw on a Gregor Blanco flyout.
After Harvey took care of the third and fourth, reliever Wandy Peralta got out of the fifth when he turned an Evan Longoria comebacker into a double play. Tomlinson singled to load the bases with one out in the sixth, but Peralta struck out pinch-hitter Austin Jackson. Gennett’s sliding catch in shallow right on a pop fly from Gorkys Hernandez, another pinch-hitter, ended the threat.
Gennett padded the lead with a solo homer in the seventh, and Jared Hughes, who was credited with the win in relief, got Sandoval to ground into an inning-ending double play after allowing two hits in the seventh.