Roark, Rodriguez aim to rebound as Reds host Giants
The Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants did their best to change their early-season narrative after entering their four-game series with the two lowest batting averages in the National League.
After combining for 23 runs, 30 hits and six homers in the opener Friday, the Reds and Giants aim to keep the scoreboard operator busy on Saturday when they continue their set in Cincinnati.
Stephen Vogt belted a game-tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning before Evan Longoria went deep to lead off the 11th in San Francisco's 12-11 victory on Friday.
"For my first game back since 2017, this is pretty special and especially finishing off that come-from-behind win," said the 34-year-old Vogt, who worked his way back from shoulder surgery.
"It's nice to see and be a part of a team that just doesn't stop."
The Giants' win was staggering on many fronts, as San Francisco overcame an early eight-run deficit that was created in large part to a pair of three-run homers by Derek Dietrich.
It's also noteworthy since the low-scoring teams combined to plate 22 runs in their previous four games. Cincinnati entered the series batting .207 while San Francisco was hitting .214 as a team.
"They're all tough, but sometimes they do feel worse," Cincinnati manager David Bell said. "Our guys in the bullpen have been doing such a great job, and we finally score some runs, and not to be able to hold it. It happens. It's a great test to bounce back from, but it's a tough game to lose."
The Reds saw a positive in top prospect Nick Senzel, who made his major league debut by going 1-for-5 with a run while also making a running catch in the outfield.
"I can't make it bigger than what it is and let it all fall on my shoulders, because we have really good players here. We're going to get things going. It's just a matter of time," said the 23-year-old Senzel, who was the second overall pick of the 2016 draft.
Senzel will test his mettle against Saturday starter Dereck Rodriguez (3-3, 4.35 ERA), who yielded a season-high four walks in his last outing. The 26-year-old right-hander saw his two-start winning streak halted on Sunday after allowing a career-high six runs on seven hits in three innings of an 11-5 setback versus the New York Yankees.
Rodriguez will be making his first career start versus Cincinnati, although he struck out Dietrich twice and retired him in all five career at-bats.
Reds right-hander Tanner Roark (1-1, 4.08) will aim to rebound from a tough start in his last outing when he takes the mound on Saturday.
Roark was unable to take advantage of an early four-run lead on Monday and issued a season-high four walks to drive up his pitch count in a no-decision against the New York Mets. The 32-year-old allowed four runs on as many hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Six-time All-Star Buster Posey, who is riding a nine-game hitting streak, is 7-for-17 in his career versus Roark.
Roark owns a 6-1 mark with a 2.59 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in eight career appearances (five starts) against San Francisco.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 4, 2019