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Matt Moore, San Francisco Giants shut down Cincinnati Reds

By
Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Moore throws a pitch. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Moore throws a pitch. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

SAN FRANCISCO -- While his teammates were grinding out a 17-inning win in a game that spilled over from Friday night to Saturday morning, San Francisco Giants left-hander Matt Moore was relaxing on the couch.

Until he fell asleep, that is.

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The extra rest paid dividends the next day.

Moore continued his dominant form at AT&T Park on Saturday afternoon, pitching the Giants to a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

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In a game that started less than 13 hours after Friday's marathon ended, the Giants won a second straight for the first time since April 9-10 after dropping the series opener to the Reds on Thursday.

"You have a long game like that, of course there's going to be some celebrating," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of the aftermath of Friday's 3-2 win. "That was big to put that game behind us. We've tried to do that with our losses."

The time of Saturday's game was 2 hours, 33 minutes, almost three full hours less than the 5-hour, 28-minute contest the night before.

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Brandon Belt and Justin Ruggiano hit solo home runs for San Francisco in a game otherwise highlighted by strong starting pitching after both clubs had pretty much exhausted their bullpens in the previous contest.

"As some point, we're going to have to slug it with the other club," Bochy noted. "But it gets back to what we are -- pitching and defense."

Moore (2-4), who had been roughed up for 12 runs in just 8 2/3 innings in his previous two starts (both on the road), limited the Reds to one run on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out seven.

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Moore was at his best with runners on base, stranding seven in the first three innings alone. Cincinnati left 11 aboard in the game.

"That's a pitcher's biggest friend," Moore said of his defense, which played error-free ball except for a throwing error on a steal attempt. "Anytime you can get an out on a ball in play, that works to the pitcher's advantage."

The Reds' only run was a product of Scott Schebler's solo homer in the sixth inning.

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Moore, who left the ballpark in the fifth inning Friday night in order to get to bed early, is now 6-1 in his last nine home starts dating to last August. He pitched with a lead from the second inning on, thanks to the early homers by Belt, his sixth, and Ruggiano, his first.

"You can feel it in the building," Moore said of the club's home-field advantage. "It's almost like a jolt of energy for us. It gives you confidence."

The home runs were two of the just six hits allowed by Reds right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla in a complete-game effort. The 26-year-old was making his fourth major league start overall, his first since 2014 and his first with the Reds.

"That was a step-up performance. He was spectacular," Reds manager Bryan Price gushed. "He threw three pitches for strikes. He made good pitches and attacked and that's what kept him in there so long: his efficiency of pitches."

Bonilla (0-1) allowed all three Giants runs. He walked two and struck out five.

The complete game was the second for a Reds pitcher in the last week. Scott Feldman shut out the Giants 4-0 in Cincinnati last Sunday.

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"He was great," assessed Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco of Bonilla. "He gave us everything we could ask for and more. It would have been nice to get him some runs, but we couldn't come through with the big hit."

The Giants added a third run in the seventh inning on a single by Michael Morse, a stolen base by pinch-runner Gorkys Hernandez and an RBI single by Kelby Tomlinson.

Right-hander Hunter Strickland, appearing in his third straight game in the series, got the final two outs of the eighth inning before righty Derek Law pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth for his third save.

Schebler's home run was his 10th. He also doubled for the Reds, who outhit the Giants 8-6.

NOTES: 1B Brandon Belt's first-inning home run was a "Splash Hit" at AT&T Park, the 72nd by a Giant in the ballpark's 18-year history. Belt ranks third on the "Splash Hit" list behind LF Barry Bonds (35) and Pablo Sandoval (7). ... The "Splash Hit" was the fourth allowed by a Reds pitcher, the first since 2008. ... No Reds batter has ever recorded a "Splash Hit." ... Among the regulars who did not start Saturday afternoon in the wake of Friday's 17-inning marathon: Reds CF Billy Hamilton and SS Zack Cozart, and Giants C Buster Posey, 3B Christian Arroyo and RF Hunter Pence. ... Reds RHP Lisalverto Bonilla recorded his first major league hit in the fourth inning. ... Umpire Tony Randazzo, banged up behind the plate in Friday's game, was taken off his weekend assignments. Ryan Blakney took his place at third base on Saturday.

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