BY SEAN WATKINS
The San Francisco Giants shut out the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 at Oracle Park Wednesday afternoon behind a solid performance from Johnny Cueto and their bullpen, winning the three-game series and finishing their homestand with a 5-1 record.
Cueto shut down his former team coming off a stellar start allowing just one run in 8 2/3 innings against the Rockies. He exited Wednesday’s game after 5 2/3 innings with an apparent injury, allowing no runs on three hits while finishing with four strikeouts.
Curt Casali spoke on the injury concern of Cueto and if he thinks that it will be a serious issue moving forward. “He was kind of fighting something a little earlier in the game, I don’t know where, it might have been a hip or something,” said Casali. “Unfortunately, the body compensates in certain ways. I don’t think he tweaked anything; I think he was smart enough to get himself out of the game before any real damage could be done. We’re hoping he’s going to be okay for us because he’s an important part of our staff.”
Tyler Mahle got the start for the Reds and was unhittable to begin the game. Mahle had a no-hitter going through the first four innings until the Giants lineup was able to get to him in the fifth. Mahle exited the game allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits while striking out seven.
In the bottom of the fifth, Brandon Crawford hit into a fielder’s choice as Eugenio Suarez was unable to get to a difficult fly ball to shallow left field. Austin Slater then doubled into the gap in right center, bringing home Crawford to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. Slater advanced to third on a wild pitch and was able to score on a fielder’s choice hit by Casali, taking a 2-0 lead while making Mahle work hard throughout his final inning.
In the eighth, Evan Longoria got on base with a walk and was able to advance to second on a balk. Mauricio Dubon hit an RBI pop-up to shallow right field to bring home Longoria and expand the lead to 3-0. The ball dropped out of the glove of Jonathan India but was ruled a hit.
Jake McGee came into the game in the ninth and retired three of the four batters he faced to earn the save. McGee currently leads the MLB in saves this season with six.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler discussed how impressed he was with his team’s performance during the six-game homestand and the work they have put in. “I think this is one of the better homestands that I have been a part of with the Giants. Really proud of the work that the club did, really proud of the preparation and the work that led to the performance on the field.”
San Francisco will now begin their six-game road trip as they head to Miami to face the Marlins in a three-game series that starts Friday. Anthony DeSclafani is scheduled to get the start for the Giants while the Marlins starter is to be determined.
The Giants 2.78 team ERA is their lowest through 12 games since the 2002 season.
Cueto exited the game with a tight lat muscle and will get scanned for examination.
The Giants improved to 6-1 in their last seven games.
LHP Alex Wood will make his first start for the Giants on Sunday in Miami.
LaMonte Wade Jr. was placed on the 10-day IL with a left