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What we learned in Giants' strong 3-0 win against Reds

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The Giants had a relatively soft schedule to open the year, especially when the Padres got banged up, but this series against the Cincinnati Reds set up a pretty good test of where they are right now.

They passed with flying colors.

Austin Slater manufactured a pair of runs in the fifth inning and that's all a red-hot pitching staff would need for a 2-0 win. Johnny Cueto was dominating before getting pulled with a tight lat muscle and the bullpen took it home from there, with Jake McGee locking up his sixth save in 12 games.

The Giants went 5-1 on their first homestand with fans in 18 months, improving to 8-4 on the season. They're not off to the East Coast for the first time since 2019, with visits to Miami and Philadelphia.

Here are three things to know from the last game at Oracle Park:

Happy Slater Day 

Slater showed off the full package in the fifth, giving another glimpse of what he's capable of when fully healthy. Slater, who had a big RBI triple on Tuesday night, put another one into the gap against right-hander Tyler Mahle, who had allowed just a bloop single to that point. The double scored the first run of the game.

Slater ended up on third and dashed home on a grounder to short, showing off his team-best speed while sliding in just ahead of the tag.

Johnny's Bad Break

Five days after nearly shutting out the Rockies, Cueto was working on another one. He was at 68 pitches through 5 2/3 when he came out of the game with a tight lat muscle in his back. The Giants had no further updates during the game.

 

An inning before he got hurt, Cueto laid down a perfect bunt to move Curt Casali over to second in the sixth. He immediately shot out of the batter's box, stunning Mahle and catcher Tyler Stephenson. Cueto was thrown out, but just barely. He got down the line at 28.6 feet per second, which was the fifth-fastest sprint by a Giant this season, trailing two by Mauricio Dubon and two by Slater.

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Right Into the Fire

Logan Webb was moved to the bullpen on Wednesday morning when the Giants announced that Alex Wood would join the rotation. Webb immediately got called into action, throwing an easy seventh inning a few minutes after Cueto departed. That helped get the lead to Tyler Rogers, who appeared for the eighth time in 12 games and erased a leadoff walk with a double play.

McGee was also making his eighth appearance. He gave up his first hit, a hard single that snuck past Donovan Solano.

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