SAN FRANCISCO -- Among Bronson Arroyo's endless array of pitches is one that catcher Ryan Hanigan says travels at "batting practice speed." There's also The Laredo, which the pitcher said is his "drop-down, backdoor breaking ball."
Whatever it was called Sunday night, the Giants weren't hitting it.
Arroyo allowed only one hit over seven innings to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 9-0 victory at AT&T Park. Using a paint brush rather than a blowtorch, Arroyo artfully changed speeds, hit his spots and kept the Giants so off-balance that they now teeter on the brink of elimination.
The Reds lead in the best-of-five series 2-0 as the teams head for Game 3 on Tuesday in Cincinnati.
"Honestly, there is no one in the game like Bronson in terms of the way he pitches," Hanigan said after Arroyo's 91-pitch outing. "He does so many things with his breaking ball, with his fastball, with his changeup. He's unique, and that's what's tough."
Arroyo, 35, held the Giants hitless until Brandon Belt's clean single to center with two out in the fifth. Arroyo also walked Buster Posey with two out in the seventh.
Those were the only base runners he allowed.
Pitching in what Reds manager Dusty Baker described as "a forgiving ballpark," Arroyo looked wiling to throw anything from his bag of tricks. Angel Pagan hit a fly to deep right to start the game, but the Giants didn't hit much hard after that.
"I just thought this ballpark would be right for him, even though I don't think he's won here," Baker said.
Arroyo had been 0-4 with a 4.11 ERA in six career starts at AT&T Park. In fact, he hadn't beaten the Giants in any venue since 2008 in Cincinnati.
This time, he threw 57 of his 91 pitches for strikes and struck out four.
"We couldn't get much going ... or anything going," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Arroyo's strong outing rescued a Reds staff left scrambling after Johnny Cueto lasted just eight pitches in Game 1. Arroyo could have gone longer but, with the game in hand, Baker removed his starter in case he wants to use him again later in the series.
Arroyo tipped his cap to his catcher, saying that Hanigan, like former Reds catcher David Ross, understands his deep bag of tricks.
"Those are two guys that I found could think along with me and could understand the dynamic of how I try to beat hitters with an out-of-the-box mentality," Arroyo said. "There are some catchers who have a hard time following that along."
Arroyo delivered the kind of reliable outing that has made him a mainstay in the Reds rotation. Since Cincinnati acquired him in 2006, Arroyo has 91 wins, tied with Tim Hudson of the Atlanta Braves and Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies for most in the N.L.
With this one, he gave his team some breathing room.
"It's important that we try to end it, if we can, especially with our situation with Johnny Cueto," Baker said. "That would buy us some more time. ... But you're not comfortable at all until it's all over. It's hard to take the last breath out of anything."