- Associated Press - Saturday, June 28, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Jay Bruce needed time to recover from his knee surgery in May. Since June rolled around, he’s been almost unstoppable.

Bruce and Billy Hamilton drove in two runs apiece to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.

“Billy is a catalyst on this team,” Bruce said. “When he’s on base, things happen.”

Johnny Cueto (8-5) pitched a three-hitter over 8 1-3 innings and the Reds won their third straight and sixth of seven overall.

“When he’s sharp he’s fun to watch,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He’s a high ground-ball pitcher and got a lot of early contact.”

Bruce began heating up along with the weather, turning a .192 in late May to his current .244 following a hot June.

“The knee surgery took some time, but even when I came back I was playing very well,” Bruce said. “It’s a long season and you have to keep working.”

Bruce is hitting .315 for the month (28 for 89) and has driven in 10 runs over his last nine games.

“I have an approach I think works and I keep chipping away,” Bruce said.

Cueto walked two and struck out three, allowing both runs and raising his majors-leading ERA from 1.86 to 1.88.

“We raised his ERA,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “That goes to show you just how good he is.”

Aroldis Chapman got the final two outs for his 16th save in 17 chances.

“We’re getting good at-bats up and down the lineup,” Price said. “We’ve seen it all come together in June.”

The NL West-leading Giants lost for the 13th time in 17 games. Their once commanding 9 1/2 game lead has dwindled to two after losing for the 10th time in 12 home games.

Pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin tripled to drive in the Giants’ first run in the sixth and later scored on Pence’s groundout.

Story Continues →