Ellison helps Reds beat Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jason Ellison has been starved for opportunities -- with San Francisco, Seattle and now Cincinnati.

His first home run of 2007 took a little bit of the sting away.

Pinch-hitting in the seventh inning, Ellison, a Giant from 2003 to 2006, hit a solo shot against his former team, and Homer Bailey shut down the San Francisco Giants in the Reds' 4-2 victory Thursday night.

"Obviously, there's a little more adrenalin going when you're playing against your old team," Ellison said. "It was nice to be able to do something. I'm just happy I finally got a hit. I haven't had a hit for a month. I still love it here. I miss it here."

Ellison hit the first pitch he saw from Dan Giese into the left-field seats for his second career pinch-hit homer and his first home run since June 18, 2006, against Seattle while with the Giants.

The game was noticeably minus the power of two of the game's greatest sluggers -- home run king Barry Bonds and his Reds pal, Ken Griffey Jr. Both are injured and Griffey won't play again this season.

Jorge Cantu added a pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth and Norris Hopper singled in his first three at-bats in the leadoff spot for Cincinnati, which scored two runs on Jeff Keppinger's fifth-inning single that followed a wild pitch by San Francisco starter Matt Cain.

Nate Schierholtz's RBI single in the first put the Giants ahead, but they couldn't manage much offense against Bailey (3-2).

"Homer pitched very well," Reds manager Pete Mackanin said.

"It wasn't Bonds and (Omar) Vizquel and the rest of the boys but he showed pretty good command of his fastball and his breaking ball. He looked like he was confident, and we were very happy with what we saw coming out of his hand."

Cain (7-16) lost his third consecutive decision and saw his winless stretch reach four starts with his first career defeat to Cincinnati. The right-hander had won his previous two starts against the Reds, including on July 4 this year.

"This is the time of the year you're hoping to finish strong and we're not doing it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

"Matt pitched well enough to win a game. It's embarrassing. There's no way in our home we should be getting beat like this."