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May 10, 2024 7:05 am

Slumping squads square off as Giants face Reds

mike ford, reds

Two teams not at all happy with recent results hope to vent their frustration on the other when the visiting Cincinnati Reds and the San Francisco Giants open a three-game series on Friday.

Reds left-hander Andrew Abbott (1-4, 3.32 ERA) and Giants right-hander Logan Webb (3-3, 3.50) are the scheduled starters in the opener between a Cincinnati squad that has lost eight in a row and a San Francisco club coming off a 3-7 road trip.

The Reds completed an 0-6 homestand with a 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday. The four runs were the most the home team scored in the six games, during which it totaled just 11.

Cincinnati, which ranks last in the majors in team batting average (.211), is hoping a one-time Giant can rejuvenate its offense in his return to San Francisco.

First baseman/designated hitter Mike Ford signed a major league contract with Cincinnati on Wednesday and made his first Reds start on Thursday, going 1-for-4.

Coincidentally, that’s exactly what he did in his first start with the Giants on May 1, 2022. Before appeared for San Francisco again, his contract was sold to the Seattle Mariners.

Ford started the 2024 season with the Reds’ Triple-A Louisville affiliate despite a productive spring training (15-for-33, .455, three homers). He appeared to be on the move again when he opted out of his minor league deal on May 1. However, he wound up returning to the organization a week later, and now finds himself replacing injured Christian Encarnacion-Strand on the big club.

“We got lucky that (Ford) was still out there,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I’m sure it was a matter of time before he landed somewhere else. We’re glad to have him here.”

In his return to San Francisco, Ford potentially will find himself dueling the Giants’ ace. Webb, however, took two of the seven losses on the Giants’ just-completed trip, giving up nine runs (eight earned) in 7 2/3 innings during defeats at Boston and Philadelphia.

He won his past two home starts, shutting out the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets over a total of 15 innings.

The 27-year-old has pitched well in his career against the Reds, going 2-1 with a 1.38 ERA in five appearances, four of which were starts.

Abbott split decisions against the Giants as a rookie last season, shutting them out over eight innings in a 5-1 home win on July 20 before lasting just 3 1/3 innings and allowing three runs in a 4-1 defeat at San Francisco on Aug. 28.

The 24-year-old has allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of his seven starts this year, including in his most recent outing against the Orioles on Saturday. Abbott permitted just two runs in five innings in a 2-1 loss to Baltimore. The Reds have scored a total of six runs in his four defeats.

When last seen at home, the Giants won four out of six to conclude a 10-game homestand and climb within one game of .500. They return five games under, having lost any momentum they might have had.

Manager Bob Melvin was down after the Giants’ 9-1 defeat against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday in Denver.

“Today would’ve been a big swing game for us,” he said postgame. “It would’ve been a lot better to go 4-6 (on the trip). Not that that’s anything to shout about, but 3-7 is a bad trip.”

–Field Level Media

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