CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds lost a series and got another concern about their pitching staff.
Left-hander Madison Bumgarner got his career-high sixth straight win, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Reds 6-1 on Thursday afternoon, taking a series in Cincinnati for the first time in five years.
The Reds won the series opener, pushing their winning streak to a season-high four straight. Then they dropped the last two, scoring a total of three runs.
Michael Morse hit a two-run homer, and Brandon Crawford broke out of a slump with a three-run shot off Mike Leake (3-5), who had overwhelmed the Giants the last four times he faced them. He wasn't fully healthy this time around.
Manager Bryan Price revealed after the game that Leake has been limited by a stiff neck in his last three starts, interfering with his delivery.
"He's been battling some stiffness in his neck that makes it hard for him to get his head fully turned toward the catcher's glove," Price said. "We've been trying to get him over the hump with that, but it still keeps acting up."
The Giants won the series by finally getting to Leake, who was 4-0 in his last four starts against the Giants while allowing only three earned runs. Leake lasted only five innings and gave up eight hits, a walk and five runs.
Leake said the stiff neck sometimes prevents him from fully extending his arm as he throws the ball.
"Even today, I had a slight tightness and I couldn't get it out of there," Leake said. "It doesn't affect me on one pitch more than another. I just wasn't throwing the ball where I wanted to today."
Morse homered for the second straight game, connecting for his team-high 13th homer in the second inning. That ended Leake's streak of six straights without giving up a homer.
Crawford's seventh homer in the fourth inning was his first since May 21. The shortstop was in a 4 for 32 slump.
Pablo Sandoval singled three times and scored a pair of runs, improving to 11 for 17 career against Leake with two homers. Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to six games.
San Francisco moved a season-high 18 games over .500 with its 11th win in 14 games. The Giants have the best record in the majors at 39-21.