Brandon Drury clubbed his team-leading eighth homer and rookie Graham Ashcraft took a shutout into the seventh inning in his second big league start to lead the Cincinnati Reds past the visiting San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Friday night.
The hard-throwing Ashcraft (1-0) recorded his first major league win by holding the Giants to four hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings, with a fastball sitting at 97 mph and reaching 100 mph five times and two more pitches at 99 mph in the opening inning.
The game, delayed just over two hours by rain, was overshadowed by a pair of pregame controversies.
First, there was a confrontation between Cincinnati's Tommy Pham and San Francisco's Joc Pederson in the outfield during pregame. The Reds agreed to pull Pham from the lineup as Major League Baseball investigates, while Pederson was permitted to play.
Also, Giants manager Gabe Kapler announced that he would not participate in the national anthem to protest the country's reaction to the elementary school shooting this week in Uvalde, Texas.
Kapler then made an embarrassing mistake by trying to insert reliever Jake McGee in the eighth inning.
McGee, activated off the injured list before Friday's game, was not on the roster card Kapler exchanged before the game. That mistake was caught by Reds manager David Bell, who forced Kapler to take him out.
The Reds struck first against Giants starter and loser Carlos Rodon (4-4) in the third inning. Matt Reynolds drove home Alejo Lopez with a double to right, and Tyler Stephenson scored Reynolds from second on an infield single.
Drury launched a solo home run in the fifth to extend the lead to push the lead to 3-0 and extend his team-leading RBI total to 26.
Ashcraft held the powerful Blue Jays lineup to two runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings last weekend in Toronto in his big league debut. With his family able to attend Friday's home debut, Ashcraft was even better, lasting until he walked Evan Longoria with one out in the seventh.
Alexis Diaz got the next two hitters to end the inning but departed with two runners on and one out in the eighth. Art Warren surrendered a single to load the bases and hit Pederson with a pitch to force in a run. Warren escaped further damage by getting Brandon Crawford to hit into a double play.
Warren also pitched a perfect ninth to earn his third save in five chances this season.
--Field Level Media