McCoy: Cincinnati stymied by ex-Red for second straight night

For the second straight night, Cincinnati Reds fans were asking, “How did we let these guys go.”

For the second straight night, a pitcher who worked for the Reds rendered Cincinnati bats as useless strips of wood.

If anybody thought a San Francisco pitcher could be better than what Anthony DeSclafani was Tuesday night, they were dead red wrong.

Kevin Gausman was better as the Giants shut out the Reds, 4-0, their third straight win in the four-game series in Great American Ball Park.

After DeSclafani held the Reds to one run and six hits in Tuesday’s 4-2 San Francisco win, Gausman stifled them on no runs and one hit over six innings.

The Reds had only three hits.

Tucker Barnhart led off the fifth with a double off Gausman. He walked Shogo Akiyama with one out, but Jonathan India hit into a double play.

Tyler Stephenson singled with one out in the seventh, but nothing came of it.

The Reds trailed by only 1-0 until relief pitcher Carson Fulmer gave up a three-run double in the ninth to make it 4-0.

The Reds threatened in the ninth against soft-tossing submariner Tyler Rogers. He walked Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos singled, the Reds third hit.

But Eugenio Suarez grounded out to first, Stephenson struck out and Tucker Barnhart grounded to first and that was that.

Castellanos, owner of one of the three hits, dumped praise on Gausman.

“It was the way he commanded the strike zone, didn’t leave anything over the middle,” he said. “As a collective group, we aren’t doing too good of a job of getting the pitch we want to hit. A lot of soft contact and even when we are out in front of the count, we are expanding and hitting the pitcher’s pitch.”

After a slight pause, Castellanos added, “At the end of the day, they drive nice cars, too.”

They Reds came off a nine-game trip, winning games late by stringing together hits. That hasn’t happened in three straight losses to the Giants.

“I don’t have all the answers, but I do know hitting is contagious,” said Castellanos. “I do that hitting is confidence. It is something that feeds off of each other. Today, from an offensive standpoint, we did not get it done.”

DeSclafani was a free agent after last season and Gausman was a free agent after the 2019 season. The Giants signed them both.

Gausman worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen for the Reds. He appeared in relief 15 times and made one start for ’19 Reds. He was 0-2 with a 4.03 earned run average.

The Giants turned him into a starter and so far this year he has been one of the best in the majors, 4- 0 with a 1.66 earned run average.

The game’s only run through eight innings came in the fifth against Reds starter Wade Miley. He gave up a leadoff double to Mauricio Dubon and a follow-up run-scoring ground ball single to No. 8 hitter Mikes Tauchman, a .203 hitter.

Miley pitched only 4 2/3 innings and gave up one run and six hits and left prematurely.

“He was good, really good,” said manager David Bell. “But he did tweak his foot a little bit right befoe the fifth inning. It was the first inning in which he got into a little trouble.

“He said he could pitch and I believed him,” said Bell. “I just didn’t want to take any chances. I didn’t want to put Wade in a situation where he had to pitch through an injury.”

The bullpen of Lucas Sims, Amir Garrett and Michael Feliz shut the Giants down through the eighth inning.

After warming up Tejay Antone, Bell sent Fulmer to the mound to guard the 1-0 lead in the ninth against the top of the Giants order.

But Fulmer let it get away. He gave up a one-out single, then walked two straight to fill the bases. Posey unloaded a three-run double up the left field gap to turn a precarious 1-0 lead into a 4-0 lead.

“Our bullpen did its job, no doubt,” said Bell. “If we had scored a run (before the ninth) we would have pitched Tejay. We can’t pitch our entire bullpen in a down game.

“Carson was available and he has done a nice job, but it just wasn’t his night,” Bell added.

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