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Ashcraft lifts Reds over Giants after Kapler anthem protest


CINCINNATI (AP) — Rookie right-hander Graham Ashcraft picked up his first victory with six straight innings and the Cincinnati Reds beat San Francisco 5-1 on Friday night following a political protest from Giants manager Gabe Kapler and a fight between Tommy Pham and Joc Pederson.

Kapler refused to appear on the field for the national anthem, a show of his frustration with the country’s political leadership after this week’s school shooting in Texas.

Meanwhile, Pham of the Reds and Pederson of the Giants had a brief altercation on the field before the match. Major League Baseball is investigating the incident, and Pham was scratched after a 2-hour, 8-minute pregame rain delay pending the results of that investigation.

Kapler endured an embarrassing moment in the eighth, when he brought in left-hander Jake McGee from the bullpen, then had to replace him because McGee wasn’t on San Francisco’s roster card. McGee was reinstated from the IL before the game but had to come out after starting his warm-up pitches on the mound. Southpaw Jose Alvarez then entered the game for San Francisco.

Ashcraft (1-0) pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his second major league start. He threw first-pitch strikes to his first 12 batters, limiting San Francisco to four hits and two walks while striking out two.

Matt Reynolds had an RBI double in the third and then scored on a single check-swing from Tyler Stephenson. Brandon Drury added a solo homer on the fifth, his eighth of the season.

Carlos Rodon (4-4) allowed three runs on seven hits. The Giants have scored two combined points in his last two starts, both losses.

Art Warren had five outs for his third save.

Albert Almora Jr. added an RBI brace in the ninth for Cincinnati. Later in the inning, a base-loaded receiver’s interference call on Joey Bart allowed Nick Senzel to reach, forcing the Reds’ fifth run.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto has been given the day off after seven straight starts since an 18-day layoff with COVID-19. Mike Moustakas started at first base.

TRAINERS ROOM

Giants: C Curt Casali is expected to be off the 7-day concussion list on Saturday. … 1B Brandon Belt (right knee inflammation) is eligible to come out of the 10-day IL on Sunday but will need a few more days.

Reds: LHP Mike Minor pitched six innings in a minor league rehab start and remains on track to join the rotation next week. He’s been on IL all season with a pulled left shoulder.

NEXT:

LHP Alex Wood (3-3, 4.82) will start Game 2 of the series for the Giants.


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