SAN FRANCISCO - Bronson Arroyo was brilliant, as he one-hit the Giants through seven innings, and the Reds' offense came out of hibernation to rout San Francisco 9-0 in Game 2 of the NLDS.
Arroyo (1-0) had a great mix of off-speed pitches and breaking balls that had San Francisco hitters guessing all night long, and he gave the Reds' bullpen exactly what they needed after they accounted for almost five innings of work in Game 1 the night before.
The Reds' offense turned their Game 1 spark into a full on fire on the backs of the Reds' two Ryans: Ryan Ludwick and Ryan Hanigan. Ludwick hit a second inning solo home run to get the scoring started, and the Reds rallied for three runs in the fourth and five runs in the eighth on a rare string of hits.
The only two Giants hits of the game came in the fifth inning, when Brandon Belt slapped a single to right-center on a low and away fastball from Arroyo, and in the ninth, when Pablo Sandoval smoked a Jose Arredondo fastball for a double off the brick in right.
At one stretch, Arroyo struck out four hitters in a row, and he had a no-hitter into the fifth.
"A no-hitter in this type of environment is almost impossible to do and it's something you're not thinking about, the win for the ball club is the nirvana, there is nothing else to think about if something else happens crazy like that then it's icing on the cake," Arroyo said of his early game success. "But to get through the fifth inning without having to pitch from the stretch but one time was really big. It allows you to get in your groove, you're not wasting a lot of energy."
This is Arroyo's first win against the Giants since 2008, and his longest postseason stint in five starts and 13 appearances.
Reds skipper Dusty Baker said he picked Arroyo for Game 2 here in part because the righty is susceptible to giving up home runs after he allowed 26 this year. After a few early deep balls barely stayed in the park, it was an obvious good choice.
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner (0-1) was not the pitcher the Reds saw in June, giving up four earned and being pulled after just 4.1 innings. At home this year, he had gone 9-3 with a 2.33 ERA in 14 outings, winning 14 of the last 17 decisions.
The Giants called in Tim Lincecum to pitch two shutout innings, but their bullpen couldn't keep the Reds' bats silent, with Jose Mijares giving up three earned without getting an out in the eighth, and Guillermo Mota giving up two more in the same inning.
Ludwick finished the game 2-3 with a home run, one RBI, two runs scored and a walk drawn.
Hanigan came up big twice, picking up a two-RBI single in the fourth and another RBI single in the eighth inning.
Jay Bruce had a huge double down the right field line to get the scoring started in the eighth, his only hit of the day.
Brandon Phillips, who was the leader in Game 1 with 3 RBIs, got off to an 0-3 start, but picked it up late, including an RBI single in the eighth to get him to finish 2-5.
Joey Votto was very much a part of keeping the offensive line moving in their big innings, finishing 3-4 with two runs scored.
And even Drew Stubbs got into the mix, wailing an RBI triple to left in the Reds' big eighth.
Reds relievers J.J. Hoover and Arredondo, neither of whom appeared in Game 1, came in for the eighth and ninth to complete the shutout.
The Reds take a 2-0 lead with the series headed back to Cincinnati beginning Tuesday evening at 5:37 p.m. Homer Bailey (3.68 ERA) takes on Ryan Vogelsong (3.37 ERA).
NOTES (from the Associated Press): San Francisco was shut out six times during the regular season, tied for second-fewest in the NL with Philadelphia. ... Cueto returned to Cincinnati along with Bailey Sunday. ... 2010 World Series MVP Edgar Renteria threw out the ceremonial first pitch and stopped by the clubhouse. "I'm very touched," he said. "The fans, they remember and appreciate everything. I'm never going to forget this time. They still remember what we did in 2010. It's unbelievable." ... 49ers Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana also was in the stands, along with actor Charlie Sheen - who received big boos as a Reds fan.
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