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COL@SF: Vogelsong delivers dominant start vs. Rockies

San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong already has a season to remember, and he's only made eight starts.

The dream continues Friday when the right-hander takes the mound looking for his fifth win of the year. The Reds, who defeated the Giants, 3-0, on Thursday, will counter with Travis Wood.

"It's awesome. Every experience I've had in the big leagues before this was basically as a long man, so I was only pitching in games where we were blowing them out and getting blown out -- and most of the time it was getting blown out," Vogelsong said. "To be on a team and be counted on to go out there and win games, it's awesome. It's a great feeling."

Despite Thursday's loss, the first-place Giants are 20-12 since May 6 and lead the D-backs by a game in the National League West.

Expect the Reds, who in are in third place in the NL Central, to be ready.

Like Vogelsong, Wood has something to prove. The left-hander had one of his worst outings of the year against the Dodgers on Sunday, allowing a career-high eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He was hit early and often as the Reds fell behind, 3-0, just four batters into the game.

"All day, we had trouble getting strike one," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "This game wasn't designed to pitch from behind. You pitch from behind, everybody's batting average goes up and everybody becomes a better hitter, because you've got to come into the strike zone."

Historically, the West Coast has not been kind to the Reds, but Baker should be pleased with his club's performance so far. The Reds won two of three games against the Padres in April and now boast a 3-1 record in California this year. That's quite an improvement when you consider the Reds are 22-41 there during the past six years.

Following the West Coast swing, which includes a visit to the Dodgers, the Reds will resume Interleague Play at home against the American League East's Blue Jays and Yankees.

"I think the American League East is probably one of the toughest divisions in baseball. Almost everybody over there is over .500," Baker said. "It's a tough road, but hey man, if you're going to win a championship, you've got to do well. It boils down to who plays the best baseball, who gets the best pitching and who gets the most timely hits."

Reds: Rolen returns
Third baseman Scott Rolen, who missed four days because of a viral infection, was back in the Reds' lineup on Thursday. He went 1-for-3 with a double and scored Cincinnati's first run.

Giants: Pitching at a high level
• Seventeen of San Francisco's 28 home games this season have been decided by one run. The Giants have won only four home games by more than one run.

• Giants relievers combined to throw 17 scoreless innings through the first seven games of their homestand before Santiago Cassila gave up a run in the eighth inning Thursday and Guillermo Mota gave up a run in the ninth.

Worth noting
• Reds right-hander Sam LeCure (strained right forearm) has started a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Louisville.

• Last season, the Giants outscored the Reds 38-19 in a three-game set at AT&T Park.

• Giants southpaw Barry Zito (right mid-foot sprain) is scheduled to make his second rehab start Saturday for Class A San Jose against Modesto. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval (fracture hamate bone) continues his rehab assignment at Triple-A Fresno.

• The Reds are 917-1,124 all-time against the Giants, including a 3-4 mark last season.

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