SAN FRANCISCO -- Not much has gone right for the Cincinnati Reds since the All-Star break.
Outlasting reigning NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and rallying for five runs in the ninth inning will definitely count as a much-needed positive.Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips drew a tie-breaking bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning and the Reds took advantage of a meltdown by San Francisco's bullpen to beat the Giants 10-5 on Friday night."It wasn't easy but we needed it and we got some breaks tonight, big-time breaks," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "That's a good club over there and to give Lincecum a no-decision, that's quite a feat. These guys, they don't quit. They just keep playing and playing. They get down but don't stay down."The Reds, who trailed 4-2 and 5-3, scored twice in the eighth and five times in the ninth to win consecutive games for the first time since July 1-2.They did it against the Giants' normally reliable bullpen, which gave up seven runs in two innings after Lincecum had handcuffed the Reds most of the night.Pinch-hitter Drew Sutton led off the ninth with an infield single off Giants closer Brian Wilson (3-5) before Alex Gonzalez and Joey Votto drew one-out walks. Phillips, who doubled and scored when the Reds tied the game with two runs in the eighth, walked to force in Sutton.The Reds then took advantage of two San Francisco errors and a wild pitch to tack on four more runs, ending their eight-game road losing streak."Regardless of who was pitching, for us to do what we did was a beautiful thing," Phillips said. "We're starting to believe in ourselves. We're picking each other up. It's all about team chemistry. You could look in the dugout and see everybody was on their feet, the whole team was on the fence and pushing for everybody."Bengie Molina and Eugenio Velez homered for the Giants, who committed five errors."We haven't had a night like this in a while, in quite a while," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "The last two innings were tough. We killed ourselves. Bottom line is we put too many people on base. We set up their rally."David Weathers (3-3), the third of four Cincinnati pitchers, worked a scoreless eighth to get the win. Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth, giving up two hits and a walk, but got out of the jam without allowing a run.Lincecum scattered six hits over seven innings, striking out seven while allowing three runs but got a no-decision for the eighth time this season despite leaving with a 5-3 lead.That lead -- and Lincecum's bid to become the National League's first 13-game winner -- didn't last long.Cincinnati scored twice in the eighth on Laynce Nix's two-run bloop single to left then had the big ninth to take its only lead of the game and hand Wilson (3-5) the loss.Until then the Giants seemed headed for their 17th win in their last 21 home games.Molina's two-run homer in the first and Velez's two-run shot in the fifth, coming on the two-year anniversary of Barry Bonds' historic 756th career home run, gave San Francisco a 4-2 lead."We're spoiled with Timmy," Bochy said. "He left the game with the lead, he threw seven solid innings. That's a pretty good effort."Lincecum retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced and did not allow a hit until Alex Gonzalez's leadoff single in the fourth. Wladimir Balentin's RBI single four batters later made it 2-1 and ended Lincecum's 14-inning scoreless streak. It was the first earned run the left-hander allowed since July 22, a 22-inning stretch.Velez gave the Giants some breathing room with his third career homer and Pablo Sandoval added an RBI single in the seventh to make it 5-3.Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey gave up five runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.
Since being recalled from the minors on July 27, Velez is batting .417 (20 for 48). ... San Francisco activated IF Rich Aurilia from the 15-day DL and optioned OF John Bowker to Triple-A Fresno. ... Lincecum has struck out the first batter he's faced in seven of his 22 career starts, including his last three. He needs just two strikeouts for 200 on the year, which would make him the first Giants pitcher since Jason Schmidt (2003-04) to reach that plateau in consecutive seasons. ... The Reds have allowed 95 runs in the first inning, most in the majors.