SAN FRANCISCO By the time the Giants put a runner on base Sunday night against Cincinnati Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo, they already had lifted their own starting pitcher from the game and begun warming up two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum in the bullpen.
But little about this National League Division Series, in which the Giants trail two games to none after losing 9-0, has resembled the 2010 postseason in which the Giants ran to a World Series title largely behind their consistent and sometimes masterful pitching.
Instead, Arroyo held the Giants to a Brandon Belt single through seven innings while left-hander Madison Bumgarner didn't make it out of the fifth for the first time all season at home, and the Reds piled on against relievers Jose Mijares and Guillermo Mota in the eighth.
Now, a Giants team that ran away with the N.L. West down the stretch despite losing its closer to injury in April and its best hitter to a drug suspension in August will have to channel that resilience. San Francisco faces a deficit from which only seven major league teams have come back to win in 65 previous best-of-five postseason series.
The series resumes Tuesday at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, where the Reds haven't lost three games in a row all season.
An announced sellout crowd of 43,505 began filing out of AT&T Park in the eighth inning as the Reds batted around to put Game 2 out of reach.
Arroyo batted for himself in the inning and struck out. Otherwise, his night was nearly perfect.
Mixing arm angles and speeds, the high-kicking right-hander retired the first 14 hitters he faced. After three flyouts in the first inning, he didn't allow another ball to leave the infield until Belt's two-out single in the fifth. Gregor Blanco grounded out to third to strand Belt.
Arroyo struck out the side in the third inning, including a called third strike to Blanco on which the pitcher dropped down sidearm on a backdoor slider, and allowed just one other runner a two-out walk to Buster Posey in the seventh.
The Giants didn't get a runner into scoring position until Brandon Crawford walked in the eighth and advanced to second. San Francisco was unable to force the Reds into using much of a bullpen that needed to record 26 outs in Game 1 after starter Johnny Cueto left in the first with an injury.
And the Giants didn't provide much help to Bumgarner, who exited after allowing back-to-back singles in the fifth having allowed four runs to a Reds team against which he threw a shutout in June.
Bumgarner cruised through the first inning, punctuated with a strikeout of Joey Votto on a sweeping slider. But Ryan Ludwick, who entered the game 1 for 16 in his career against Bumgarner, crushed a fastball over the wall in center field leading off the second inning to give the Reds a 1-0 lead.
Trouble found Bumgarner in the fourth, when Votto, who had three hits, and Ludwick lined singles up the middle with no outs.
After Jay Bruce flied out, Scott Rolen shot a single up the middle to drive in Votto, and Ryan Hanigan, with the middle infielders cheating in, threaded a ground ball up the middle to score two more.
San Francisco reliever George Kontos made an impressive appearance for the second consecutive night, throwing one pitch in the fifth to get an inning-ending double play. Then, with the Giants batting in the bottom of the inning, Lincecum, who earlier in the day was informed he wouldn't start Game 3, walked out to the bullpen.
Lincecum appeared to take just a handful of warm-up throws before entering under some initial confusion as part of a double switch.
But Lincecum retired the Reds in order in the sixth, pumping his fist after striking out Hanigan on a changeup to end the inning, and pitched around a two-out double by Brandon Phillips in the seventh.
Two years ago, Lincecum was on the mound in two of the biggest games of the Giants' season, making a brief relief appearance when they clinched the National League Championship Series in Game 6 and outdueling Cliff Lee in the decisive game of the World Series.
It likely will take a fast recovery by the Giants if he is to pitch again in this postseason.