Eric Surkamp makes his return to the major leagues for the San Francisco Giants one year after undergoing Tommy John surgery as he'll pitch the first contest of an unusual doubleheader with the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday.
Though scheduled as a traditional doubleheader, meaning the second contest will begin 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game, the nightcap will have a bit of an odd look.
That's because the latter engagement is actually a rescheduled meeting from a rain-postponed July 4 encounter in Cincinnati. Though the contest will be made up in San Francisco at AT&T Park, the Reds will bat last in the second game, though they are still the road team for statistical purposes, per MLB official rules.
Things will be much more normal for the first game, though it will have special meaning for Surkamp, who underwent elbow surgery last July 24.
A native of Cincinnati and rated the Giants' ninth-best prospect by MLB.com, Surkamp has pitched in both Class-A and Triple-A this season, going 2-0 with a 4.00 earned run average in nine starts.
"I'm super-excited to be up here," Surkamp told the Giants' official website. "It's been a long year. ... You can't really say it's just another game."
A sixth-round pick by San Francisco in 2008, the 26-year-old lefty made six starts with the Giants in 2011, going 2-2 with a 5.74 ERA.
The Reds counter with Tony Cingrani, who will be recalled from the minors to make the start as the club opted to go with an extra bench player out of the break before his spot in the rotation came up.
The left-hander did not factor into an 8-4 win at Atlanta on July 14, yielding two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and three walks over four innings.
Cingrani is 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA in 15 games (10 starts) this season and faced the Giants for the first time in his career on July 3. He also got a no- decision on that day, yielding two runs over 5 2/3 innings as the 24-year-old minimized the damage despite four hits and four walks allowed.
Greg Reynolds will pitch the second game for Cincinnati, countered by San Francisco's Barry Zito.
The Reds picked up right where they left off in taking the first three meetings of that July series in Cincinnati, pounding the Giants and Tim Lincecum 11-0 in Monday's opener.
Lincecum was coming off a no-hitter at San Diego on July 13 that saw him throw a career-high 148 pitches. However, he lasted just 3 2/3 innings last night and was reached for a career-worst eight earned runs.
"He left some pitches out," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy about Lincecum. "Give them credit, they swung the bat. Its a tough start for him."
The Reds hit three homers of Lincecum and scored a run in each of the first seven innings. Shin-Soo Choo extended his hitting streak to 16 straight games and homered, as did Devin Mesoraco and Jay Bruce. Bruce reached at least 20 homers for a sixth straight season.
"That's what we want to do," Baker said. "We went up and down the lineup. ... This game's a funny game. Sometimes you can't buy a run and sometimes (they're easy to come by)."
The Reds won for the fourth time in five games and out-hit the Giants 17-7. No San Francisco batter had more than one hit in the club's second straight loss.
The Giants have been held to a pair of runs or less in four of their last five games.