Giants punish Reds, extend shutout streak to four
(Reuters) - The San Francisco Giants took over top spot in the National League West after Madison Bumgarner pitched a one-hitter on the way to a 5-0 home win over the high-flying Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.
Bumgarner pitched the entire game and allowed just one hit, striking out eight to bring up his 10th win of the season.
It was a franchise record fourth consecutive shutout victory for the Giants which, coupled with a 3-2 loss by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the New York Mets, gave San Francisco sole possession of the division lead.
Bumgarner, now 10-4 with a 2.85 ERA this season, came into the game with a 0-2 record and 8.56 ERA in three career starts against the Reds.
"This team has hurt me a couple games, so I just wanted to keep us in there," Bumgarner said.
"I made pitches, stuck to the game plan, and it worked out."
The lone hit was by Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan, whose single up the middle to lead off the sixth inning spoiled what could have been an even better performance by Bumgarner.
"I'm glad he didn't throw a no-hitter. I'm glad I got one," Hanigan said.
"He earned it tonight, bottom line. He carved us up, jam jobs, strikeouts. I think we were a little flat."
San Francisco (44-33), fresh off a three-game sweep of the Dodgers, made it six wins from the last seven and dropped the NL Central leading Reds to 41-34.
Bumgarner's counterpart Johnny Cueto (9-4) lost his first game in June. The result allowed Pittsburgh (40-35) and St. Louis (40-36) to creep closer to the top of the NL Central standings.
The Giants broke out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Angel Pagan punched a line drive out to Reds right fielder Jay Bruce.
Bruce attempted to catch Melky Cabrera gunning for home plate but his throw was wide and rebounded away from Hanigan, allowing Cabrera and Buster Posey to score.
The scoring action then slowed until the bottom of the sixth when Pablo Sandoval's shot to left field confused Todd Frazier.
The Reds left fielder started running in to make a catch before realizing the ball was going over his head and could not adjust, allowing Pagan to score and move the lead to 3-0.
Bumgarner showed his versatility by slamming a single in the bottom of the seventh and running hard to score on a Gregor Blanco triple that split center and left field, before Blanco was brought home by Ryan Theriot to push the score to 5-0.
(Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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