Ellison connects for first home run of year as Reds beat Giants 4-2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Jason Ellison has been starved for opportunities—with San Francisco, Seattle and now Cincinnati.
His first home run of 2007 took a little bit of the sting away.
“Obviously, there’s a little more Adrenalin going when you’re playing against your old team,” Ellison said. “It was nice to be able to do something. I’m just happy I finally got a hit. I haven’t had a hit for a month. I still love it here. I miss it here.”
Ellison hit the first pitch he saw from Dan Giese into the left-field seats for his second career pinch-hit homer and his first home run since June 18, 2006, against Seattle while with the Giants.
Jorge Cantu added a pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth and Norris Hopper singled in his first three at-bats in the leadoff spot for Cincinnati, which scored two runs on Jeff Keppinger’s fifth-inning single that followed a wild pitch by San Francisco starter Matt Cain.
Nate Schierholtz’s RBI single in the first put the Giants ahead, but they couldn’t manage much offense against Bailey (3-2).
“Homer pitched very well,” Reds manager Pete Mackanin said. “It wasn’t Bonds and (Omar) Vizquel and the rest of the boys but he showed pretty good command of his fastball and his breaking ball. He looked like he was confident, and we were very happy with what we saw coming out of his hand.”
Cincinnati recalled the rookie right-hander from Class-A Sarasota to make his seventh major league start and first since a no-decision July 7 against Arizona. He was sent down following that outing.
After allowing the hit to Schierholtz, Bailey retired the next 15 batters in order before Randy Winn’s two-out double in the sixth. The 21-year-old Bailey singled to start the second.
He allowed one run and three hits, struck out three and walked one in 5 2-3 innings. Marcus McBeth gave up Kevin Frandsen’s RBI double in the seventh. David Weathers worked a perfect ninth for his 32nd save in 38 chances.
Cain (7-16) lost his third straight decision and saw his winless stretch reach four starts with his first career defeat to Cincinnati. The right-hander had won his previous two starts against the Reds, including on July 4 this year.
“This is the time of the year you’re hoping to finish strong and we’re not doing it,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Matt pitched well enough to win a game. It’s embarrassing. There’s no way in our home we should be getting beat like this.”
Bonds, nursing a sprained big toe on his right foot, could play two of the next three games against the Reds if the injury improves and also against the San Diego Padres next week in the team’s final home series.
“I feel good,” the 43-year-old Bonds said after working out Thursday.
Griffey will miss the rest of the season after straining his groin Wednesday at Chicago.
Griffey left the game against the Cubs in the eighth inning after injuring himself while fielding a ball in right field. As he started to make a throw, Griffey stopped in pain and had to underhand the ball back to the infield before falling to the ground.
The Reds originally announced the injury as a strained lower abdomen, and Griffey returned to Cincinnati to be examined. On Thursday, the team said he was diagnosed with a high groin strain and will be examined again in four weeks.
Ellison was batting .050 and his last 13 appearances have been as a pinch-hitter, pinch-runner or defensive replacement. “If somebody’s got 500 at-bats and they go 0-for-20, no one probably notices. But when you’re 1-for-20 and that’s all you’ve got, it sticks out a little bit more,” Ellison said. … San Francisco is shutting down hard-throwing rookie RHP Tim Lincecum as a precaution. The team’s top draft pick in 2006 was scheduled to start Friday but will be replaced by LHP Pat Misch. … The Giants will reach the 3 million mark for the eighth straight year of their waterfront ballpark’s existence Friday night, needing 791 fans to do so.