SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Logan Ondrusek had trouble getting the ball across the plate. When he did, pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz made him pay.
Schierholtz delivered a game-ending RBI single in the ninth after Jose Arredondo and Ondrusek combined to walk the bases loaded, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.
``I can't be coming in late in the game and putting guys on and leaving stuff over the plate for them to hit,' said Ondrusek, the fourth Reds pitcher of the night. ``(The pitch) was supposed to be in and it stayed over the plate and (Schierholtz) got a hold of it.'
Cincinnati won the opener behind a dominant pitching performance by Johnny Cueto and got another solid effort from Travis Wood but still lost.
That's because the Reds struggled once again with runners on base. They left two men on in the third, fourth and fifth innings against Ryan Vogelsong and couldn't score in the ninth after pinch-hitter Fred Lewis reached on a leadoff infield single.
``We had Vogelsong on the ropes early in the game but he kept getting out of it with strikeouts,' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ``That was a tough loss. We have had quite a few of those.'
Andres Torres, who entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh, started the ninth with a walk against Arredondo. After an intentional walk to Miguel Tejada, Bill Bray came on to strike out rookie Brandon Crawford. Baker then brought in Ondrusek, who walked Cody Ross before Schierholtz hit for Brian Wilson (5-1).
It was Schierholtz's first game-ending hit this season and the second of his career. But the victory may have come at a price for San Francisco, which had to replace second baseman Freddy Sanchez after he dislocated his right shoulder diving for a ground ball.
With his team slumping at the plate, Giants manager Bruce Bochy juggled his lineup and moved Cody Ross into the cleanup spot while dropping Aubrey Huff to the No. 6 slot.
The changes provided an early spark and San Francisco kept it close until Schierholtz came up with his clutch hit.
San Francisco, held to five hits or fewer in four of its previous six games, had five in the first three innings against Wood.
Wood, who allowed eight runs and a career-high five walks last Sunday, was crisper in his first career start against the Giants. The left-hander gave up 10 hits and walked three over eight innings in his sixth no-decision of the season.
Tejada hit a ground-rule double in the first and scored when Ross lined a single to left. Ross was thrown out at second on the play but after Tejada crossed the plate.
Cincinnati scored in the fourth and fifth to take the lead. Scott Rolen started the fourth with a triple and scored on Ryan Hanigan's single. Chris Heisey drove in Brandon Phillips with a grounder in the fifth.
That ended Vogelsong's six-game streak of allowing one run or less. The right-hander, who was the first Giants pitcher to have such a streak since Matt Cain in 2006, left after six innings with six strikeouts and three walks.
The fifth was a rough inning all around for San Francisco.
Sanchez made a backhand grab on Phillips' leadoff single but used his right hand to brace himself as he slid on the edge of the outfield grass. Sanchez, who underwent surgery on his left shoulder in December, was on his knees and flicked the ball away with his glove as Bochy and assistant athletic trainer Mark Gruesbeck rushed from the dugout. He eventually was helped up and walked off the field with his right arm held up by Gruesbeck.
Tejada tied it with a two-out double in the fifth and San Francisco had runners in scoring position in the sixth and eighth but failed to score.
Wilson struck out one and allowed a hit in the ninth inning while picking up the win.
NOTES: Reds LHP Aroldis Chapman (shoulder inflammation) allowed two earned runs in 1 2-3 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Louisville. ... Reds RHP Homer Bailey (sprained right shoulder) will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday.
The Associated Press News Service
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