Bruce's misplay hands Giants 4-3 win over Reds

Associated Press Published: July 1, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — On paper, Jay Bruce's botched attempt to catch Angel Pagan's fly to right field in the ninth inning Sunday will officially be scored an RBI double because he never touched the ball. Bruce would rather the blame be placed on him.

"It should be an error," he said.

Bruce misplayed Pagan's game-ending fly with two outs in the ninth, handing the San Francisco Giants a four-game series split with a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

"It's tough to play here but that's not an excuse," Bruce said. "You get to play here and so does everyone else. Your job is to catch the ball and I didn't. It's embarrassing. It's a really, really tough way to lose. We battled back, worked our butts off to get back and then that happens. It's a tough one to swallow."

Only in San Francisco.

Buster Posey poked a pitch from Jose Arredondo (4-2) down the right-field line that bounced into the stands for a two-out double for his third hit. Then Pablo Sandoval, who was 0 for 4, was walked intentionally to set the stage for a wild finish.

The crowd groaned when Bruce ran under Pagan's fly ball to right until those whipping winds along the bay carried the ball over his head near the 24-foot brick wall as he lost his footing. The 42,039 fans inside sold-out AT&T Park erupted, Pagan tossed his helmet around second and the Giants streamed out of the dugout to mob him in celebration.

"I looked at it and I thought, 'I don't think I have a chance,'" Pagan said. "I thought he caught it. Then I heard the crowd cheer and I went nuts. It was a weird walk-off."

Santiago Casilla (2-3) blew the save in the ninth but worked out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs to give San Francisco another shot.

Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong allowed only a two-run homer to Todd Frazier in seven innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked one, and the benches cleared after he slammed his bat because of an inside pitch from Reds starter Bronson Arroyo in the sixth.

After all the drama, the Giants ended the weekend the same way they started it: in first place in the NL West over the rival Dodgers.

"We'll take it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Reds slugger Joey Votto sat out the game with inflammation in his left knee. Miguel Cairo, who replaced Votto in the bottom of the fifth Saturday, started at first base.

Cincinnati could have used the help.

Posey, the NL's top vote-getter for the All-Star team announced earlier in the morning, hit the last of three straight two-out singles in the third to drive in Ryan Theriot and give the Giants a 1-0 lead. Theriot singled, doubled, walked twice and scored San Francisco's first three runs.

Frazier followed with a two-run homer in the fifth that drifted just over the wall in left field to put Cincinnati ahead. Frazier's eighth home run of the season came in place of third baseman Scott Rolen, who was taken out of the lineup with back spasms after Vogelsong took the mound.

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