In their past 13 games, the San Francisco Giants have looked like anything but reigning World Series champs. They've gone 2-11 -- including being no-hit Tuesday -- with just 26 total runs in that span.
Matt Cain, who gets the ball for the last-place Giants in Thursday's series finale in Cincinnati, knows there's no one to blame but themselves.
"We're in a funk right now, and we're the only ones that can really get our way out of it," Cain said following his most recent outing. "That's really all that it is."
Easier said than done. The Reds are suddenly streaking, having won three straight and four of five, and they send Mike Leake to the hill for the Independence Day showdown. In his last four games, the right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA.
Leake has allowed one earned run or none in seven of his past nine starts, bringing his record to 7-3 with a 2.52 ERA.
The Reds also have a relatively fresh bullpen, even though they used seven pitchers in Wednesday's 11-inning affair. Bronson Arroyo tossed a rain-shortened complete game Monday, and Homer Bailey followed with his historic no-hitter.
"That's a good problem to have," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "But you've got to keep [the relievers] sharp for when you call on them, too."
The Reds are seeking their first four-game win streak since they took five in a row May 20-25 against the Mets and Cubs.
Cain (5-4, 4.29 ERA) is looking to nullify all that, and he's looked sharp with quality starts in his past five outings.
In his most recent start, Cain retired the last 20 batters he faced, lasting eight innings. But things have been going poorly for the Giants, and he wound up earning a no-decision in a loss to the Rockies.
Giants: Casilla nears return
Righty reliever Santiago Casilla is close to returning from right knee surgery that has kept him out since May 20.
Casilla will make one more appearance for Class A San Jose on Thursday. He tossed two scoreless frames and allowed just one hit Tuesday.
Reds: Heisey back in left
Cincinnati outfielder Chris Heisey played left field Wednesday for the first time since he sustained a right hamstring injury in April. He was used as a designated hitter during the Reds' recent road trip to American League West clubs Texas and Oakland.
"When you've played out there for the last 10 years of your life, it's not too big of a deal to get back out there," Heisey said.
• Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is hitting .529 with a .636 on-base percentage in 22 career plate appearances against Cain. He has three doubles, a homer and five RBIs against the veteran right-hander.
• In their storied histories, the Reds and Giants have met 2,056 times in eight different locations.
• Hitters on the current Giants roster are batting a combined .337 against Leake. Pablo Sandoval has had the most success against him, going 8-for-12 with three doubles and two homers.