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Giants pitching falters for second straight night

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 1:01 am •  Published: October 8, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Madison Bumgarner mastered the postseason as a 21-year-old pitcher in 2010. Two years later, neither he nor the Giants are the same.

One night after ace Matt Cain was knocked around, Bumgarner gave up a solo home run to Ryan Ludwick and allowed three more runs before leaving in the fifth inning of the Giants 9-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds in Game 2 of the NL division series Sunday night.

Just like that, San Francisco's hopes of making another push deep into the playoffs are in serious jeopardy.

At this point, manager Bruce Bochy just wants to get his team to a Game 4 in this best-of-five series.

"We know where we're at right now, we know our backs are to the wall," Bochy said. "(We've) done a great job all year bouncing back. It's been done before. We just have to keep fighting."

It's a far different position than the Giants were in the last time Bumgarner pitched in the postseason when he became the fourth-youngest starter to win a World Series game.

So much has changed since then.

Tim Lincecum, the Giants two-time NL Cy Young Award winner who won the World Series clincher against Texas in 2010, is now pitching out of the bullpen. Ryan Vogelsong earned the starting nod for Game 3 in Cincinnati.

Not that it mattered much.

Reds starter Bronson Arroyo shut down San Francisco's offense the entire night. The 35-year-old right-hander retired the first 14 batters he faced, allowed one hit over seven innings and had four strikeouts.

San Francisco's only hits came on Brandon Belt's two-out single in the fifth and Pablo Sandoval's two-out double in the ninth.

Typical of the Giants night, Hunter Pence grounded out to shortstop to end the game after San Francisco put two runners on base.

"(Arroyo) was on top of his game, hitting his spots and keeping everybody off balance," Belt said. "That's tough to do no matter what level you're at."

It's the worst shutout loss in Giants postseason history. San Francisco had been shut out only six times during the regular season, tied for second-fewest in the NL.

Bumgarner tied Cain with 16 wins during the regular season — nine coming at home — but faltered down the stretch when he lost four of his final seven starts.

It didn't get any better against Cincinnati.

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