Score and situation: The Cincinnati Reds cruised past the San Francisco Giants with a 9-0 victory on Sunday night. They now head home with a commanding 2-0 series lead and will have three chances to punch their ticket to the NLCS.
Leading lads: Bronson Arroyo retired the first 14 batters he faced before giving up a single to Brandon Belt. He then retired the next seven straight to wrap up his seven dominant innings and claim his first career postseason victory. Although Arroyo didn't need much help, the offense provided plenty in the form of nine runs on 13 hits. Joey Votto led the way with three hits, while three other Reds contributed two hits each.
Head hangers: This game was never in doubt thanks to a Giants offense that didn't put its first runner in scoring position until the eighth inning (via defensive indifference). As was the case in Game 1, San Francisco's problem came at the top with first three hitters — Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval — going a combined 1 for 12. In the series they're now 3 for 26.
Key play: The Reds used a Ryan Ludwick homer to start the scoring and then singled Madison Bumgarner to death in the fourth. All four Reds hits that inning were indeed singles, with Ryan Hanigan's rip up the middle plating two runs. That one proved to be the backbreaker as it pushed Cincinnati's advantage to 4-0.
Interesting stat: Prior to his second inning home run, Ryan Ludwick was for 1 for 16 in his career against Madison Bumgarner.
What they'll be talking about: With an offense that has given him next to nothing through two games, are there any options available for Bruce Bochy to shakeup his lineup going into their elimination game on Tuesday? And assuming he does attempt to pull a rabbit out of a hat, will it be enough to overcome a sizzling Reds team that never lost three games in a row at the Great American Ballpark all season.
What's next: The teams will take Monday off to travel and then Game 3 will come your way on Tuesday at 5:30 ET in Cincinnati. The Reds have announced Homer Bailey will make that start after originally scheduled starter Mat Latos was pressed into relief duty in Game 1. San Francisco counters will Ryan Vogelsong in a win-or-go-home game for them.
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