Giants Vs. Reds, Series Preview: First Place G-Men Look To Extend Lead

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 27: Ryan Theriot #5 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by teammates after scoring on an RBI single from Angel Pagan #16 (not pictured) in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park on June 27, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

For more on the Giants head over to McCovey Chronicles.

The San Francisco Giants find themselves tied for first place after dismantling the Los Angeles Dodgers, but now must turn their attention to another division leader as the Cincinnati Reds have come to town looking to put a damper on the Black and Orange party.

This four game set will be a tough test for a Giants team that has won five of their last six. They'd like to get a little payback for dropping two of three to these Reds at the Great American Ballpark back in April, while maybe putting some seperation between themselves and the rest of the NL West.

After a red-hot stretch of seven wins in the middle of June, Cincy has cooled off considerably as of late. They're just 3-6 in their last nine contests, with their stop in San Francisco the first of their 11-game tour de California. They are 18-17 away from home this year.

Two of the hottest pitchers in the NL take the bump Thursday as Madison Bumgarner (9-4, 3.10) takes on Johnny Cueto (9-3, 2.21). Both men earned their ninth win in their last start with Bummy giving up four runs and a career-high 11 hits, while Cueto blanked the Twins on seven innings of three-hit ball. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

"Mr. Perfect" returns to mound at AT&T on Friday as Matt Cain (9-2, 2.27) faces off against Mike Leake (2-5, 4.46). It's been nothing but wins for Cain, who's one run in seven innings was not enough in his last start, getting the no decision instead of his ninth straight win. Leake has been struggling this year, bringing four straight no decisions into this start. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

Barry Zito (6-5, 4.00) battles Giants fan favorite Mat Latos (6-2, 4.77) on Saturday. Zito was rock solid in his last tart after seven scoreless innings, though Latos was one better after a complete game victory allowing one run and four hits. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

Ryan Vogelsong (7-3, 2.23) and Bronson Arroyo (3-5, 4.13) tussle in Sunday's finale. Vogey out-dueled Clayton Kershaw in his last start with seven scoreless innings, while Arroyo took a no-hitter into the eighth until he gave up three runs en route to a no decision. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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