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Cincinnati Reds (38-60) at San Francisco Giants (58-40)
Monday, July 25 - 10:15 PM EST
AT&T Park, San Francisco, California
After a dismal road trip to begin the second half of the season, the San Francisco Giants have to hope a return home and a lesser opponent can turn the tide. The slumping Giants look for a rebound when they take on the visiting Cincinnati Reds on Monday in the opener of a three-game series.
San Francisco stormed into the All-Star break with four straight wins and a 6 1/2-game lead in the National League West, but a 1-7 road trip - capped by Sunday's 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees - has tightened things up. Buster Posey's two-run single in the seventh inning was all the Giants could muster against the Yankees, as the club stranded 10 baserunners and saw its lead in the division over the Los Angeles Dodgers shrink to three games. It marked the third straight contest in which San Francisco was held to exactly two runs, including Saturday's 12-inning affair. The Reds finished a 6-3 homestand with a 9-8 loss to Arizona on Sunday, as their three-run rally in the ninth fell short.
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), CSN Bay Area (San Francisco)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Anthony DeSclafani (5-0, 2.50 ERA) vs. Giants RH Jake Peavy (5-8, 5.15)
DeSclafani has posted six straight quality starts and lasted eight innings in two of them, including a win over Atlanta on Wednesday. That marked the third straight start in which he has not walked a batter, and the 26-year-old has issued only three free passes in 41 1/3 frames over the span of those six quality starts. DeSclafani's lone encounter with the Giants, which took place last season, resulted in six runs allowed over three innings.
Peavy was hurt by the long ball Tuesday in Boston, as two of the three hits he gave up in six innings left the yard and he wound up on the wrong end of a 4-0 decision. He was pounded for a season-high seven earned runs in a loss at Cincinnati on May 4 but still is 7-1 with a 2.92 ERA in his career against the Reds. The Alabama native has issued two or fewer walks in 12 consecutive starts.
1. Reds RF Jay Bruce is batting .333 with three home runs and nine RBIs during his six-game hitting streak.
2. The Giants were 9-for-72 (.125) with runners in scoring position on their road trip.
3. Including the 2012 NL Division Series, the Reds have won 12 of the last 16 meetings in San Francisco.
PREDICTION: Giants 5, Reds 4