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Offense shut down by Reds’ Graham Ashcraft in 4-2 loss

Offense shut down by Reds' Graham Ashcraft in 4-2 loss

What we learned as Giants shut down by Reds rookie in loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO — Tommy Pham got all of the attention leading up to Friday’s game at Oracle Park, but it was Reds rookie Graham Ashcraft who proved to be the much bigger problem for the Giants.

Ashcraft dominated the Giants in Cincinnati last month and he was even better Friday, mixing 99 mph cutters and 97 mph sinkers over eight strong innings. When the Giants finally got the righty out of the game, former Giant Hunter Strickland shut them down. With a 4-2 loss, the Giants fell to 1-3 against a Reds team that is one of the worst in baseball.

The lineup was lifeless for most of the night, but back-to-back singles got the crowd going in the eighth inning. Tommy La Stella came up as the tying run but bounced into a crushing double play. After Mike Yastrzemski cut the deficit to two runs, Darin Ruf flied out to deep center field.

Strickland came on for the ninth and worked around a walk for his third save of the year.

Here are the takeaways as the Giants fall to 38-32 this season:

Pham Fest

In his first appearance against the Giants since the most famous slap in baseball history, Pham was loudly booed every time he came to the plate. The Giants didn’t throw at him, but they handed him another form of revenge.

Pham went 0-for-4, striking out and hitting three grounders, once of which was an inning-ending double play. He didn’t get any action in left although he heard the “he’s a bum” chant the whole night.

Pham turned around a few times to jaw back at fans in the bleachers and down the left field line and a couple of times he gestured to his jersey or gave a thumbs up. There was nothing too spicy, though. Perhaps this is finally over?

Long Shot

After he returned to the lineup May 11, it took a few games for Evan Longoria to find his rhythm. But when he did, he had one of the best power streaks of his career, hitting five homers over a five-game stretch at the end of month.

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