The San Francisco Giants’ best start in 30 years has suddenly been marred by their worst slump since last season.
Having lost five of their last six, the first-place Giants look to right themselves as they host the Cincinnati Reds in the middle game of their series.
Bonds hit his ninth homer of the season and the 622nd of his career, but that couldn’t stop the Giants’ worst slide since losing six of eight from July 25-Aug. 2. San Francisco, however, is still off to its best start in 30 years.
San Francisco has scored just 11 runs in its last six games—including five on Wednesday.
“We know the power is there somewhere, but we haven’t seen it except for Barry,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “I hate to start jumping people left and right. You have to wait. I hate to change the lineup. Maybe I’ll start a couple of fresh guys just to add a little extra ingredient.”
The Reds have won three straight after a woeful first month.
Sean Casey started the scoring Friday with an RBI double in the fifth. Adam Dunn, Jose Guillen and Ryan Freel also drove in a run apiece as the Reds waited out two rain delays to win at San Francisco for the first time in two years. Cincinnati was swept in its only visit to San Francisco last season.
Cincinnati is 8-3 since overhauling its roster with seven moves on April 19.
The Reds continue to struggle in the field, however, making two errors Friday to raise their majors-worst total to 35. Cincinnati has made at least one error in 23 of its 29 games.
STANDINGS: Reds - 4th place, 4 GB, NL Central. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Paul Wilson (1-2, 3.48 ERA). Wilson picked up his first win of the season in his last start. Through seven innings of a 7-5 victory over the San Diego Padres, He allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings in a 7-5 win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday. Wilson is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two career games against San Francisco.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Jesse Foppert (0-2, 5.54 ERA). Foppert pitched well in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, but was overshadowed by Kevin Millwood’s no-hitter. The rookie right-hander allowed one run and three hits in six innings. This is Foppert’s first appearance against the Reds.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Reds - Casey, .321 avg.; Austin Kearns and Dunn, 9 HRs; Kearns, 21 RBIs; Dunn and Casey, 20 runs; Felipe Lopez, 6 SBs. Giants - Ray Durham, .321 avg. and 4 SBs; Barry Bonds, 9 HRs; J.T. Snow, 22 RBIs; Jose Cruz, 23 runs.
SEASON SERIES: Reds, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Reds - OFs Kearns and Dunn hit nine home runs apiece in April, a feat last accomplished in Cincinnati by Johnny Bench, who did it in 1971. Tony Perez holds the club record for April homers, hitting 10 in 1970. … SS Barry Larkin won’t return from a calf injury this weekend. Instead, the Reds will send him home to Cincinnati, not wanting to risk his tender leg on a wet field. Larkin will work out at home this weekend, and he hopes to play Monday. … SS Lopez has scored seven runs in his last five games. Giants - RF Jose Cruz Jr. leads the majors with seven outfield assist. … SS Rich Aurilia has missed four straight games with continuing eye problems. Aurilia’s eyes aren’t generating enough moisture, which makes it difficult to hit. … 3B Edgardo Alfonzo, batting .194, has four hits in his last eight at-bats.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Reds - 6-8 on the road; Giants - 8-5 at home.
INJURIES: Reds - SS Larkin (calf), 15-day DL; OF Russell Branyan (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Ken Griffey Jr. (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Jimmy Haynes (back), 15-day DL; RHP Luke Prokopec (arm), 60-day DL. Giants - LHP Jason Christiansen (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Ryan Jensen (back), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL.