By HAL McCOY
CINCINNATI — It was Cinco de Mayo, so it was the Cincinnati Los Rojos against the San Francisco Gigantes on Friday night in Great American Ball Park — it said so on the fronts of their uniforms.
Everybody knew, though, it was the Reds and the Giants. And even though the game’s start was delayed an hour and 50 minutes by rain, the Reds offense was not on delay.
They raised cain with Giants starter Matt Cain in the first inning, scoring three runs in the first inning for the third time in their last four game. And it didn’t stop there and the Reds ended up with 30 baserunners.
That first inning launched the Reds on a late-night giggler, a 13-3 victory over the 11-19 Giants, occupants of last place in the National League West, during which the Reds scored runs in each of the first six innings.
The Reds won their third straight and pushed above .500 at 15-14 with an offensive splurge that featured 16 hits. Jose Peraza, Eugenio Suarez, Scott Schebler and Billy Hamilton each had three hits and Hamilton was on base five straight times, tying his career high and scored four runs. Zack Cozart and Adam Duvall contributed two hits apiece.
What? No home runs? Nope. Not by the Reds.
Bu a string of San Francisco pitchers did litter the bases with 11 walks, most in a game by the Giants since 2011.
DESPITE THE RUN SPLURGE AND the hit deluge the biggest news of the night was the fact that starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo said, for the first time this year, his arm didn’t bark at him and he felt like a major league pitcher again.
“My arm was normal today, for the first time all year,” said Arroyo after holding the Giants to two earned run and five hits over 5 1/3 innings. “I wasn’t really tired and I got in 95 pitches and I could have continued out there. And that hasn’t been the case and I hope we can build on this. I was finally comfortable and my stride length was a little farther.
“I wasn’t throwing any harder, but I definitely felt like I wasn’t inhibited by anything and I could get after it,” Arroyo added. “As long as I can keep my elbow in check — and right now it feels fantastic.”
CAIN CAME INTO THE GAME with a 2-and-0 record and a 2.30 earned run average that immediately took a heavy hit. He walked Billy Hamilton to open the bottom of the first and Hamilton took third on Zack Cozart’s single.
Hamilton scored on Joey Votto’s sacrifice fly, Eugenio Suarerz singled home a run and after Scott Schebler singled Jose Peraza singled home the third run and the Reds merry-go-round was in full swing the rest of the night.
THERE WAS A SIDE ANGLE TO this one and it was Cincinnati starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo against San Francisco third baseman Christian Arroyo.
They are not related, but in an amazing twist, they both attended Hernando High Scool in Brooksville, Fla., 18 years and a generation apart.
“When I was getting drafted, I was thinking, ‘Maybe one day I’ll face Bronson. That would be sick,’ ” Christian told San Francisco Chronicle writer John Shea.
So what happened? In the second inning, Christian Arroyo took ball one from Bronson Arroyo, then drilled the next pitch into the left field seats for a home run.
Tim Simms coached both Arroyos and Christian said, “He texted us both to tell us, ‘Have fun, enjoy the moment and everyone back in Brooksville is watching.’”
The Giants selected Christian in the first round of the 2013 draft, the highest drafted high schooler from Hernando County since Bronson was taken by the Pirates in the third round in 1995.
“It’s pretty awesome, to be honest,” Christian told the Chronicle. “I never figured I’d be here with an opportunity to face him. I talked to Bronson in high school before the draft, and he gave me valuable information about the draft process and professional baseball.”
ARROYO TOOK CARE OF THE other Arroyo on a line drive out on his next time up and pretty much took care of the rest of the Giants during his 5 1/3 innings. He gave up three runs (two earned) five hits, walked one and struck out four. And after losing his first two decisions, the 40-year-old righthander is nobody’s joke. He has won his last three starts.
Of the home run to the other Arroyo, Bronson laughed and said, “I was behind 1-and-0 and tried to throw a fastball down-and-away it leaked back in and up, probably the worst pitch I could have thrown to anybody in that lineup.
“He knocked it out of the park and I guess if I was going to give up a home run to anybody over there it would be to him,” said Bronson. “I’ll take that. I’ll look at the back of his baseball card when I’m not playing any more and I can say, ‘Hey, I gave you one. I gave you one.’”
CANE’S SECOND INNING WAS as bad as the first, maybe worse. He walked the bases loaded and with two outs Eugenio Suarez drilled a 2-and-0 pitch up the middle for a two-run single and a 5-1 Reds advantage.
The assault continued in the third when Jose Peraza singled and stole second while Arroyo was striking out, the fourth stolen base of the game by the Reds. From there Peraza scored from second on Billy Hamilton’s single to left.
The score every inning script continued for the Reds in the fourth when t scored three times and chased Cain to the showers. All three runs came on Jose Pereza’s bases loaded triple, giving him three hits and a career-high four RBI and producing a 9-1 lead.
Cain’s earned run average exploded from 2.30 to 4.70 when the Reds frisked him for nine runs, 10 hits and six walks (a career-high for Cain) in 3 1/3 innings.