SAN FRANCISCO — Mike Leake pitched six-plus innings of wildly effective ball and had the third three-hit game of his career, leading the Cincinnati Reds past the San Francisco Giants, 8-3, on Wednesday night.
Leake (10-4) allowed a career-high 12 hits but gave up just one run. He also snapped an 0-for-26 skid — his longest hitless streak — with two singles and a double.
In the finale, the Giants had 15 hits — including five singles by Hunter Pence — but were 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranded 15 on base. Adding to the embarrassment, even the chalk that makes up the batter’s box was off-center.
Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Devin Mesoraco each drove in two runs to power the Reds to another impressive win against the reigning World Series champions. After allowing San Francisco to rally from an 0-2 deficit to win the NL division series last October, Cincinnati finished 6-1 against the Giants this season — and most of the wins weren’t even close.
The Reds outscored San Francisco 45-14, including Homer Bailey’s no-hitter on July 2. They also outscored the Giants 31-11 in four games this week at AT&T Park.
Buster Posey was out of the starting lineup after playing first base in the opener and catching the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader.
He grounded into a fielder’s choice as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, when the Giants loaded the bases with no outs before reliever Sam LeCure shut them down.
Chad Guadin (4-2) gave up six runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings in his worst — and shortest — start of the year for San Francisco. He also allowed a season-high five walks.
In the last regular-season matchup of this one-sided series, the formula remained the same: early runs and patchwork pitching for a runaway Reds win.
Shin-Soo Choo hit a leadoff double, advanced to third on a groundout by Xavier Paul and scored on Votto’s flyout to give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
In the third, Votto scored from first when Pence missed Phillips’ two-out single to right field. The ball trickled off the glove of Gregor Blanco behind him. Jay Bruce followed with an RBI double, and Mesoraco had an RBI single to put the Reds ahead 4-0.
Pence matched his career high with five hits, including a single in the third that put San Francisco on the board. But after Brandon Belt singled, Jeff Francoeur grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Reds manufactured two more runs in the fourth. Votto drove in a run when he grounded out with the bases loaded, and Phillips hit a sacrifice fly to extend Cincinnati’s lead to 6-1.
The Giants also loaded the bases in the fourth — and wasted that scoring opportunity. Leake got Pablo Sandoval to pop out, ending San Francisco’s rally.
After Votto tripled leading off the sixth, Phillips singled him home. Mesoraco’s two-out single put the Reds up 8-1, sending a large chunk of the announced sellout crowd of 41,512 to the exits.
Sandoval’s two-run double off Logan Ondrusek in the eighth accounted for the only other San Francisco runs.