Crawford hits grand slam, Giants pound Reds 11-2 

click to enlarge Giants' right fielder Hunter Pence (8) scores on a hit by Brandon Crawford off Cincinnati Reds' starting pitcher Mike Leake (44), left, during the second inning of their baseball game played Saturday. - GARY LANDERS/AP
  • Gary Landers/AP
  • Giants' right fielder Hunter Pence (8) scores on a hit by Brandon Crawford off Cincinnati Reds' starting pitcher Mike Leake (44), left, during the second inning of their baseball game played Saturday.

CINCINNATI — The Giants enjoyed watching Hunter Pence run around the bases. Brandon Crawford's grand slam was a pretty good moment, too.

Crawford hit his fourth career grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs Saturday night, and Hunter Pence scored three times in his return from a broken forearm, leading the Giants to an 11-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The defending World Series champions are hoping their offense gets a boost from Pence's return. The right fielder was hit by a pitch during spring training, causing a fracture just above the left wrist.

"It's just nice to have him back and have his energy in the dugout and on the field," Crawford said. "To have him flying around the bases like that, it's fun to watch."

Pence made an immediate impact. He had hits in his first two at-bats off Mike Leake (2-2), helping the visitors pull ahead 5-0.

"I'm just happy to be back playing again and being healthy," Pence said.

Crawford's grand slam in the fifth inning made it 9-0, the most runs that Leake has allowed in his career.

"He's so gifted defensively, he's underrated, I think, as a hitter," manager Bruce Bochy said of his shortstop. "But he's a very productive hitter. He's just a good all-around ballplayer."

Brandon Belt and Gregor Blanco had solo shots off Leake and San Francisco enjoyed its two-day offensive splurge. The Giants have scored 21 runs in the last two games at Great American Ball Park, their best two-game total of the season. They entered the series second-to-last in the NL in runs scored.

Ryan Vogelsong (2-2) finally won on the road. He'd been 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA on away from home this season, with batters hitting .385 off him. The Reds managed two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings, including Jay Bruce's solo homer.

Pence was hit by a fastball from the Chicago Cubs' Corey Black on March 5. He played five games on a minor league rehabilitation assignment and felt good enough to tell the Giants that he was ready. He proved that he wasn't bluffing in his first two plate appearances.

Belt hit his second homer in two days in the second inning, and Pence followed with a double to right-center. He came around on Crawford's single for a 2-0 lead.

Blanco, batting leadoff because of his recent hitting tear, hit his first homer of the season in the third inning. Blanco is on a 9-for-18 hitting streak.

Pence singled in the fourth and came around on Crawford's double. Casey McGehee's single made it 5-0. In the fifth inning, Pence drew a walk to set up Crawford's grand slam.

Giants second baseman Joe Panik went 0 for 5, snapping his hitting streak at a career-high 11 games.

The 11 runs were the most by the Giants since an 11-4 win over the Royals in the fourth game of the World Series. It was their most in the regular season since a 12-7 win over Colorado in Sept. 2. ... The nine runs allowed by Leake were the most by a Reds pitcher since Homer Bailey gave up the

Center fielder Angel Pagan left the game with back spasms, but Bochy didn't think it was anything serious.

Reds left-hander Sean Marshall will have surgery next week for a tear in his pitching shoulder. He had surgery last season, when he tore the labrum, and was trying to make a comeback when the latest injury occurred.

Chris Heston will oppose Anthony DeSclafani in the series finale today.

Heston is coming off his first career complete game, a two-hitter for an 8-1 win over the Astros. DeSclafani has given up at least three runs in each of his last four starts.

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