CINCINNATI (AP) — Two days off did not slow down Zack Cozart.
Cozart’s third home run of the season capped a three-homer, five-run second inning, and the Cincinnati Reds beat Jake Peavy for the first time in a 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.
Brandon Phillips and Eugenio Suarez also hit second-inning home runs, Adam Duvall added a solo shot for the Reds, and Dan Straily (1-1) overcame solo homers by Brandon Belt and Conor Gillaspie for his first major league win since April 10, 2014, with Oakland. Cincinnati avoided getting swept in the three-game series.
Cozart left Cincinnati’s game on Sunday at Pittsburgh in the eighth inning because of tendinitis in his surgically repaired right knee. He missed the first two games of the series against San Francisco before rejoining the lineup and hitting a two-run homer off of Peavy.
“When it initially happened in Pittsburgh, I was pretty nervous going into the testing because I didn’t know what to expect, but when they said everything felt strong, that obviously made me feel good,” said Cozart, who is hitting .342. “Now it’s just something I have to manage all year — just a little tendinitis. I’ll probably have it off and on. I just have to take a day here or there when I need it, but be ready to play every day. Those two days were good for me to have off. Today I felt great.”
Mac Williamson and Denard Span hit consecutive two-out doubles in the ninth off Ross Ohlendorf. Cincinnati’s bullpen has given up runs in a big league record 22 consecutive games.
Peavy (1-3) allowed seven runs and eight hits in six innings with eight strikeouts and one walk, raising his ERA to 9.00 in six starts. He had been 7-0 with a 2.38 ERA in 12 starts against the Reds in his career.
Straily, claimed from the Padres off waivers on April 1, gave up three runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, helping stop the Giants’ three-game winning streak.
“When I got here I was just happy to have a job,” Straily said. “I knew there would be a need at some point. I just wanted to keep us in the game as long as I could. I wanted to let the bullpen to be used the way it was designed and not get over worked.”
Phillips led off the second inning with his second homer of the season and first in 22 games since April 8. Suarez and Cozart followed with two-run drives, giving the Reds as many runs in one inning as they had scored against Peavy in any of his previous 12 career starts.
The three-homer inning was the first of Peavy’s 15-year big career. He’d allowed just two in his previous five starts .
“Poor execution,” Peavy said. “It was tough in the second inning. There’s a couple of pitches I’d like to get back. I really feel like I settled down and executed pitches after that.”
Joey Votto doubled leading off the third and scored on Suarez’s two-out single for a 6-1 lead. Duvall hit his fourth homer of the season in the sixth.
Giants: RHP Sergio Romo, on the disabled list since April 15 with a flexor strain in his pitching arm, played catch at 90 feet on flat ground.
Reds: CF Billy Hamilton, who left Tuesday’s game after aggravating his jammed left thumb, entered the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth. The only thing Hamilton’s injury keeps him from doing is gripping a bat.
Giants: RHP Matt Cain (0-3) is the scheduled starter for Thursday’s opener of a four-game home series against Colorado.
Reds: RHP Alfredo Simon (0-3) makes his sixth appearance and fifth start of the season in Thursday’s opener of a four-game series against Milwaukee. The Reds are 0-5 when Simon pitches.
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