Jul 1, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Michael Kickham (59) pitches during the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Kickham Struggles In Giants' Blowout Loss To Reds

The San Francisco Giants picked up a win Sunday. It ended a six-game skid, but the team entered Cincinnati having won just two of their past 10 games.

The Reds made sure that a win wasn’t added to that record on Monday, handing the Giants an 8-1 loss that ended in seven innings due to rain.

A 10-17 June didn’t erase San Francisco from the National League West picture, though. They started the month three games back and ended the month three games back. They’re hardly considered contenders after mustering the NL’s worst June winning percentage.

Bronson Arroyo, mixing his arsenal of several off-speed pitches and arm slots, held the Giants to just two hits and one run over six innings.

Until Brandon Belt poked Arroyo’s pitch about two rows deep into the right field bleachers, Mike Kickham’s double stood as the only hit against Arroyo.

The third-inning double also stood as the lone bright spot for Kickham on a rainy Monday night.

Making his third major league start, he allowed a career-high seven runs in 2.1 innings. He walked two and allowed nine hits.

The lefty has yet to allow a first-inning run in his three major leagues starts, and in all three outings, he retired the side in order. His third major league start brought much of the same–he struck out the leadoff batter and got 2010 MVP winner Joey Votto looking on a 3-2 fastball over the outside half of the plate.

Beyond the first inning, six of Kickham’s earned runs in his first two major league outings came in the second and third innings. The other two came in the sixth against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his last start.

That total shot up after Monday. He gave up seven runs between the second and third innings, and his ERA now sits at 23.50 (during the second and third) in five total innings.

The Reds made noise right out of the gate in the second. Todd Frazier was the third consecutive Red to single in a four-run, five-hit second inning. His single started the scoring, and the Reds piled on two more runs. Zack Cozart collected his 34th RBI of the year, and Derrick Robinson shot a two-run double off the left field wall on the first pitch he saw.

The final punch was Todd Fraizer’s three-run homer that landed in the second deck during the third inning. The blast followed an infield single that Pablo Sandoval couldn’t handle and a single that dropped in front of Gregor Blanco.

Kickham remained in the game for one more batter, but Ryan Hanigan’s two-out line drive extended the inning and brought out Bruce Bochy. Had Blanco’s diving effort been a few inches longer, Kickham would’ve escaped the inning and might’ve pitched the fourth. But his confidence was already skating on thin ice.

Cozart’s RBI double off George Kontos made it 8-1 in the fifth inning. Kontos previously struck out Jay Bruce and Frazier on sharp sliders, but he hung Cozart a fastball, and the shortstop one-hopped the left center field wall.

Tags: Cincinnati Reds San Francisco Giants

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