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Reds 5, Giants 2

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer, Jay Bruce added a solo shot, and the Cincinnati bullpen took care of the rest as the Reds beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 Saturday night in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

The Reds survived the loss of ace Johnny Cueto, who exited in the first inning due to back spasms.

Phillips, who had three hits, also drove in an insurance run in the ninth as the Reds earned their first postseason win in 17 years. Bruce had two hits, and he improved to 8-for-15 (.533) lifetime against Giants starter Matt Cain, who took the loss.

Buster Posey hit a home run for the Giants, who played their first postseason contest since beating the Texas Rangers in the World Series in 2010.

Gregor Blanco and Posey had two hits apiece, but otherwise the Giants got little going against the Reds staff. They were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.

Giants pitchers retired 12 of 13 Reds at one point, but the damage had been done.

The Reds couldn't have liked the way things began, as Cueto was forced to leave the game after retiring Angel Pagan and getting two quick strikes on Marco Scutaro in the first inning.

Sam LeCure calmed his team with 1 2/3 innings of one-hit relief and Cincinnati went back to work, getting a two-run home run by Phillips in the third before Bruce went deep in the fourth.

Meanwhile, Mat Latos took over in the third and continued the dominating pitching effort from the Reds. He threw four innings of one-run ball.

Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman each pitched an inning to finish off the Giants.

Cain went five innings, matching his shortest outings of the season. He allowed three runs on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Cain gave up his first postseason earned runs after 23 1/3 innings dating to 2010.

The Giants made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth. San Francisco loaded the bases with one out, getting Pablo Sandoval to the plate as the potential tying run. Chapman got two quick strikes on Sandoval before getting him to pop up to second baseman Phillips for the second out. After Joaquin Arias scored on a wild pitch, Posey struck out to end it.

NOTES: Reds manager Dusty Baker made a triumphant return to AT&T Park 10 years after leading the Giants to the seventh game of the 2002 World Series. Baker won his last postseason game in San Francisco -- Game 5 of that World Series, when his young son was scooped to safety by then-Giants first baseman J.T. Snow to avoid a collision at home plate. ... Reds pitcher Homer Bailey pinch-hit for LeCure in the third but struck out trying to bunt Drew Stubbs to second. ... Cain lasted five innings in five of his 32 regular-season starts. Three of those five outings came in September. ... Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo will be making his fourth Division Series appearance and third start when he takes the mound for Sunday's contest. He does not have a postseason decision. ... Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner will be making his second Division Series start Sunday. He beat the Atlanta Braves in 2010.
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