SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Homer Bailey made a strong bid for yet another no-hitter, shutting down San Francisco until Buster Posey’s two-out single in the seventh inning and pitching the Cincinnati Reds past the Giants 4-0 Sunday.
Bailey has thrown no-hitters in each of the last two seasons, and did it against the Giants at home last July 2. He came close to pitching the latest gem at AT&T Park — the ballpark was the scene of Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter Wednesday against San Diego.
Bailey (8-4) finished with a three-hitter as the Reds completed their first four-game sweep in San Francisco since 1972 at Candlestick Park
Billy Hamilton, Brandon Phillips, Brayan Pena and Skip Schumaker drove in runs as the Reds won their season-best fifth straight and eighth in nine overall.
The Giants were swept in a four-game series for the first time in their ballpark that opened in 2000. San Francisco has lost 15 of 19 while watching its lead dwindle in the NL West.
Bailey walked one and struck out seven in his fourth career shutout and sixth complete game.
Bailey walked Gregor Blanco leading off the fourth, but later caught him taking off early for third base and threw him out.
That was all the Giants got into Posey singled cleanly to right-center field. Pablo Sandoval’s bloop single moved Posey to third, but Bailey struck out Michael Morse looking to end the inning.
Bailey was trying to become just the sixth pitcher with at least three career no-hitters. Nolan Ryan leads that list with seven.
Tim Hudson (7-5) allowed two runs on five hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. He’s lost his last two starts at home after opening the season with seven straight wins.
Hamilton’s two-out double in the third drove in the Reds’ first run, and with the way Hudson was pitching — he retired 12 of 13 following the double — Bailey needed to be nearly perfect.
The Reds tacked on three runs in the ninth against Jeremy Affledt, who took over for Hudson after Todd Frazier started the frame with a single.
Affledt balked, hit a batter, threw a wild pitch, allowed three hits and an inherited runner to score and got his only out on Phillips’ sacrifice fly.