SAN FRANCISCO -- Unwilling to roll the dice with injured ace Johnny Cueto, the Reds selected Homer Bailey as their starter for Game 3 in Cincinnati.

"You can't take a chance with Johnny," manager Dusty Baker said Sunday before Game 2 of the National League Division Series at AT&T Park. "We can't have him go out there again and have something else happen and have him come up short."

Back spasms forced Cueto out after eight pitches in his Game 1 start against the Giants on Saturday.

But not long after that game was over, the right-hander expressed optimism about returning Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

Instead, Baker will hand the ball to Bailey, who went 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA during the regular season.

The right-hander finished strong, including a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 28. In his tune-up start that followed, Bailey pitched four shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"This is the healthiest Homer has been this year," Baker said. "We feel like he's on his way."

Bailey has a 5.59 ERA in five career appearances against the Giants.

In his only start against them this year, he gave up five runs in 6 1/3 innings in a 6-5 loss on April 26.

  • Ceremonial first-pitch honors Sunday night went to former shortstop Edgar Renteria, who was the World Series MVP with the Giants in 2010.

    A huge ovation from the AT&T Park crowd left him struggling for words.


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    "The fans, they remember and appreciate everything," Renteria said shortly after coming off the field. "I'm never going to forget this time.

    "They still remember what we did in 2010. It's unbelievable. I'm so happy (the Giants) are playing in the playoffs again."

    Renteria hit .412 against the Texas Rangers in the 2010 World Series, including a pivotal three-run home run in the decisive Game 5.

    He played 96 games for Reds in 2011 before retiring. This marked his first trip back to AT&T Park since his playing days.

    "I saw everybody in the clubhouse," said Renteria, who flew in from Miami for the occasion. "You go back and the feeling doesn't go away. It's still here. It was very exciting to play in the World Series. Always. Always."

  • Speaking of championship MVPs ... 49ers legend Joe Montana had some prime seats behind home plate.

    His face appeared on the video scoreboard between innings, right after highlights of the 49ers' win over Buffalo Bills.

    The three-time Super Bowl MVP waved to the crowd and got one of the loudest cheers of the night.

  • Fans were less enthusiastic about actor and Cincinnati fan Charlie Sheen, who was also in attendance. Fans booed when Sheen, wearing a Reds cap, was shown on the center field scoreboard.

  • San Francisco has never won a postseason series after losing Game 1. The last time a Giants team came back from an opening loss was in 1921, when New York won the World Series in a best-of-nine format.

  • The Reds were still marveling over Mat Latos, who worked four innings of surprise relief after Cueto's injury.

    Latos had been in line for the Game 3 start.

    "What Latos did last night is what championships are made of," Baker said.

    Neither team has announced their plans for a Game 4 starter.

  • Manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants plan to hold a light workout during Monday's off-day, weather permitting.