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Reds come out swinging to pound Giants again PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:24 AM

By JANIE McCAULEY

Associated Press

 

SAN FRANCISCO — Devin Mesoraco had a 3-run homer among his three hits for his second long ball in as many games, Joey Votto and Zack Cozart also connected and the Cincinnati Reds pounded the San Francisco Giants for the second straight game with a 9-3 win Tuesday in the opener of a traditional doubleheader.

Cozart finished 4-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs to back Tony Cingrani (4-1). The left-hander was added to the roster as the Reds’ permitted 26th player for the doubleheader. He headed back to the Arizona Rookie League after the game to fulfill the final five days required after being optioned previously to the minors. He could return to start Sunday for Cincinnati.

The Reds finished with 15 hits for 32 total in the first two games of the series.

The Reds knocked Eric Surkamp (0-1) out after 2 2/3 innings in his first start since late September 2011 after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery.

Cincinnati was set to bat last as the visiting team while wearing home uniforms in the nightcap, a makeup for a July 4 rainout at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds called up former Stanford right-hander Greg Reynolds, a native of nearby Pacifica, from Triple-A Louisville to start the second game against Barry Zito. It is Reynolds’ first big-league outing since a start Sept. 25, 2011, for Colorado.

Much like Monday night to support Bronson Arroyo’s 7-hitter, Cincinnati came out swinging. A day after the Reds roughed up Tim Lincecum in an 11-0, 17-hit rout, they quickly took charge with a 4-run second. After Brandon Phillips flied out, Cincinnati got four straight hits starting with Jay Bruce’s double. Cozart hit an RBI single two batters later before Mesoraco’s 3-run drive to left-center.

Votto led off the third with his 16th homer and Cozart added a solo shot in the fifth.

Cingrani gave up five hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings with two strikeouts and three walks. He allowed two or fewer runs for the ninth time in 11 starts this year.

Surkamp, who is from Cincinnati, was tagged for seven runs and eight hits. Manager Bruce Bochy then turned to Yusmeiro Petit, who arrived shortly before game time. He struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings of relief.

The Reds’ bottom four hitters, including the pitcher’s spot, accounted for 10 of the team’s hits.

Cincinnati has won all five meetings with the reigning World Series champions after allowing San Francisco to rally from an 0-2 deficit to win the NL division series matchup last October. The Reds have outscored the Giants 34-6 this season.

Notes: Cincinnati played its first traditional doubleheader since Aug. 24, 2011, at the Marlins. … The Giants designated for assignment RHP Hunter Strickland to clear room on the 40-man roster for Petit, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Fresno. San Francisco optioned RHP George Kontos to Fresno a day after he threw a career-high 63 pitches in 3 1/3 innings.

Reds coach Berry thrilled to be back from cancer: Reds third-base coach Mark Berry moves through Cincinnati’s clubhouse with a water bottle in hand pretty much all the time. Since undergoing two grueling months of chemotherapy and radiation this spring for throat cancer, the salivary glands no longer function in the left side of his mouth and he needs constant hydration.

Berry is back in the coaching box at last after assuring manager Dusty Baker he had regained enough strength to return to the job he has held for 10 years.

Monday night’s 11-0 victory at San Francisco marked Berry’s 2013 season debut coaching third and he hoped to work both games of Tuesday’s traditional doubleheader. He promised Baker he would check in between games to report how he was feeling.

Berry can’t quite believe he’s back.

“It means a lot just being back with the team in familiar territory for me,” he said Tuesday. “It makes you feel like you’re part of the game again. It’s been four months since I coached third base. You forget how quick the game really is until you’re coaching third base. Watching from home or TV or watching from the dugout, the game seems really slow and easy. But once you get out to third base, the first couple innings I was like, ‘Wow, this is moving pretty quick.’ I’m just glad to get through that first night. The team made it a lot easier on me by the home runs and really the easy decisions, so I was thankful for that.”

On Sunday, with the Reds ready to leave on an 11-game West Coast trip, Berry told Baker he was finally ready. The coach had always targeted the All-Star break on his calendar for when he might be back but wanted a couple of extra days going through pregame work with the team to make sure he had his timing and felt sharp.

“Mark’s over there at third; I guess everybody is inspired to hit,” Cingrani said.

Berry received radiation five days a week for seven weeks, along with weekly chemo sessions. He has gained back 16 pounds of the 41 he lost during treatment despite his taste buds being gone. He lost some hair on the back of his head but it’s hardly noticeable below his red cap; whiskers on the left side of his face are beginning to re-emerge.

He knows he will still feel better some days than others.

“I think the time was about right,” Berry said. “I didn’t want to come back too soon. It wouldn’t be fair to the team; it wouldn’t fair to the players, myself, nobody. It’s been about two months. Looking at that part of it, to how I felt back then, wow, it came quick. The way I was feeling two months ago I would have never dreamt that I would be here right now doing this.”

The 50-year-old Berry has been with the organization as a player, minor-league manager and coach for 30 years. He was diagnosed during spring training with cancer of his tonsils and neck lymph nodes.

Bench coach Chris Speier filled in coaching third during Berry’s absence, while Miguel Cairo served as interim bench coach for Baker.

Baker, who has had his own medical scares as recently as late last season with a mini-stroke and irregular heartbeat, didn’t ask Berry each day how he felt. Baker observed for himself.

“Even when he did tell me he was ready, I still gave him a week,” Baker explained. “It’s the same way with players. But he was over there paying attention the whole time, he was looking at my signs. … It’s great (to have him back).”

Berry explained he used “very little” chewing tobacco during a minor-league playing career and never was a heavy drinker.

“What caused it, there’s no telling,” he said.

Berry thanks his younger sister, Michele, for pushing him to seek additional medical evaluation after two blood biopsies done during spring training in Arizona came back negative. His sister went through this same thing 15 years ago and is now cancer-free. Berry returned to Cincinnati for a more extensive biopsy of the tumor on his left tonsil and that revealed the Stage II cancer.

While he still will undergo a Pet Scan on Sept. 4 to determine whether the cancer is completely gone and he is in remission, Berry is optimistic the roughest part of this ordeal is behind him.

“I think I’ve knocked it out,” he added. “In my heart I feel that way. I’ve been blessed to have the career I’ve had.”

 

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