San Francisco (61-46) at Cincinnati (52-55)

Fair Currently: Cincinnati, OH
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 1:10 pm EDT Sun Jul 31, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Orlando Cabrera(notes) helped the Cincinnati Reds to a division title last year. Now, he’ll try to do the same for the San Francisco Giants.

Johnny Cueto(notes) wants to spoil his former teammate’s debut with his new club.

Cabrera may be in the Giants’ lineup Sunday when they attempt to end this six-game road trip at .500 by avoiding a sweep at the hands of the Reds.

San Francisco (61-46) leads the NL West, and is hoping it has solidified that position by making two deals prior to Sunday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

The Giants added Cabrera, 36, from Cleveland on Saturday in exchange for minor league outfielder Thomas Neal. They’re hoping he can provide leadership while filling in for the injured Miguel Tejada(notes) (abdominal strain) at shortstop.

Cabrera hit .244 with 38 RBIs for the Indians after batting .263 with Cincinnati (52-55) last year, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy feels there are other qualities that are more important.

“He is a proven winner,” Bochy said. “With Miguel, one of our shortstops going down, we felt like we needed an experienced shortstop who could go out there every day. He was available. It worked out well for us.”

The Giants got Cabrera two days after they attempted to upgrade their offense, which ranks 28th in the majors in runs, by acquiring Carlos Beltran(notes) from the New York Mets.

Beltran, though, is 1 for 14 with six strikeouts in three games, and San Francisco has lost the last two while going 3 for 24 with runners in scoring position.

The Giants collected 11 hits Saturday, but Beltran was 0 for 5 in a 7-2 loss to Cincinnati.

“He’s a pro,” Bochy said. “He’ll be fine. It’s a settling-in process. He’s moving his family, getting to know his teammates.”

Cueto (6-4, 1.88 ERA) would like to keep the Giants’ offense at bay again as the Reds seek their first sweep of San Francisco since winning three games Aug. 29-31, 2008.

The right-hander, though, could use some assistance from his defense. He allowed six runs - all unearned - in five-plus innings while Cincinnati made three errors in Tuesday’s 8-6 loss to the Mets.

Cueto hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a game all season, including a 3-0 win at San Francisco on June 9. He fanned eight Giants while allowing four hits in seven innings.

Beltran is 3 for 8 with a homer against him, including a single Tuesday.

The Giants give the ball to Barry Zito(notes) (3-3, 5.24), who may be making a case to remain in the rotation with Jonathan Sanchez(notes) expected back from a biceps injury next week.

“We haven’t made that decision,” Bochy told the team’s official website. “That’s what we’re going to be talking about this week, in our free time.”

Zito’s last two performances, however, haven’t instilled much confidence.

The left-hander allowed six runs - four in the first - and six hits with three homers in seven innings of Tuesday’s 7-2 loss at Philadelphia. That rough outing came 10 days after he was tagged for eight runs and two homers in 3 2-3 innings of an 11-3 defeat at San Diego.

Zito is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in four starts at Cincinnati since winning his first game there with Oakland on June 22, 2002.

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

B. Zito Oak vs. J. Cueto KC
3-4 Record 9-5
5.87 ERA 2.31
32 K 104
24 BB 47
1.40 WHIP 1.09


Sunday, Jul 31