The latest victim of the Big Red Slaughter Machine: Chad Gaudin.
The Cincinnati Reds continued their assault on Giants pitching Wednesday, smacking 13 hits in a 8-3 win over the home team at AT&T Park. In the process, they handed Gaudin the worst defeat of his brief tenure as a Giants starter.
“They're good hitters,” Gaudin said. “They have a solid lineup … you have to get ahead, you have to make them hit your pitches and expand, and if you have to come [in] to them, it makes it that much tougher.”
The loss combined with the Los Angeles Dodgers' come-from-behind win over the Toronto Blue Jays put the Giants at a season-high 7½ games out of first place in the National League West standings.
Gaudin (4-2) lasted only 3²⁄³ innings in his eighth start filling in for Ryan Vogelsong, surrendering six earned runs on seven hits and five walks.
The trouble started in the top of third with the Reds already leading 1-0 thanks to a Shin-Soo Choo run in the first inning. Joey Votto started the two-out rally with a single to left and he scored one batter later when right fielder Hunter Pence allowed a bloop single off the bat of Brandon Phillips to skip under his glove.
Pence screened Gregor Blanco as he lunged in front of him and Votto raced around third as the ball pinballed in between the center fielder's feet. The next batter, Jay Bruce, drove in Phillips with a double down the right-field line and Devin Mesoraco singled him home after Todd Frazier walked, stretching the Reds' lead to 4-0.
The Reds added two more runs off Gaudin in the fourth and they tagged the bullpen for another pair in the sixth.
“They're good,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I'm not taking anything away from their club because that's why they're where they're at right now. That's a solid team, great hitting. Any mistakes we made, we didn't get away with and they did some damage.”
The Giants picked up a run in the third and two in the eighth. Pence went 5-for-5, tying his career high for hits in a game.
As the Reds piled it on, the Giants' bats continued to struggle with runners on base. The Giants collected 15 hits against the Reds, but they left 15 men on base, going 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
“We had them on the ropes every inning and just couldn't find one more guy to come through for us and that's the difference in the game,” Bochy said.
Mike Leake picked up his 10th win on the season, allowing one run on 12 hits over six innings pitched for the Reds. He also went 3-for-4 at the plate.
The Reds clobbered the Giants throughout the series, outscoring them 31-11 and outhitting them 65-37 while winning three of four games.