CINCINNATI — A night after being on the wrong end of a no-hitter, the Giants might have found a more devastating way to lose.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo lined a two-out single to right in the bottom of the 11th inning, handing the Giants a 3-2 loss, their ninth in the last 10 games.
The Giants bullpen held strong after Barry Zito was replaced in the fifth inning, and Javier Lopez had already recorded five outs when the left-handed hitting Choo came to the plate with two on.
Choo entered the night with a .152 average against left-handers, but he lined a pitch into the right field corner to bring Todd Frazier racing home.
"We had a good effort from our bullpen," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We couldn't get a hit with men in scoring position. We have too many guys scuffling. I don't know why, whether they are pressing or trying too hard. I wish I had the answer. It seems like we've been saying this for quite a while."
Zito flirted with trouble from the outset. Chris Heisey hit a sacrifice fly to put the Reds up 1-0 in the second inning.
The Reds wasted a good scoring opportunity in the fourth when catcher Devin Mesoraco ran through a stop sign at third base and halted three times as he ran home before eventually being tagged out.
The Giants were shut out for the first four innings in part because of a heads-up play by Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips.
With one out and two on in the third, Hunter Pence hit a flare to second base. Phillips let the ball drop and threw out Posey.
The Giants had been held under two runs in four of their previous five games, but Tony Abreu finally got the lineup going with a two-run blast to the upper deck in the fifth inning. The homer was Abreu's first as a Giant and was estimated to have traveled 442 feet.