SAN FRANCISCO — For the Reds, blowing a 10-1 lead didn't mean losing the game.
Only hours after the Braves squandered that exact same advantage and fell to the Rockies, Cincinnati wound up with a win — barely.
Saved by Paul Janish's tying single in the ninth inning, the Reds regrouped and rallied past the Giants 12-11 Wednesday on Joey Votto's two-out, tiebreaking single in the 12th.
Votto homered twice and had four RBIs as the NL Central leaders avoided a sweep.
"We had such a comfortable lead for most of the game," Votto said. "For them to come back like that, it could have been difficult to recover. Momentum plays a big role in a game like this. We just showed some resiliency to come back ourselves."
Former Ray Jonny Gomes hit his 100th career homer to give the Reds their huge lead going into the bottom of the fifth. The Giants came back, and former Ray Aubrey Huff's sacrifice fly capped a six-run outburst in the eighth that put them ahead 11-10.
A two-base throwing error by third baseman Pablo Sandoval on Drew Stubbs' one-out grounder in the Reds ninth set up Janish's single.
Miguel Cairo doubled and scored on Votto's two-out single in the 12th off Barry Zito, making his second career relief appearance.
"For us to play as well as we did and to still be able to come back and win sure means a lot to all of us," Votto said. "Zito is difficult to face because he knows exactly what he wants to do. I'm just trying to put the ball in play and I end up finding a hole."
Ryan Hanigan and Stubbs also homered for Cincinnati. The Reds homered three times in the first inning, and the slugfest put an exclamation mark on the highest-scoring three-game series at AT&T Park.
"That was a heavyweight fight out there," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Votto, that's what MVPs and All-Stars do. They come through when you need them."
The Giants scored at least 11 runs in three straight games for the first time since June 1953.
"It just feels terrible to let the team down in a situation where we come back from 10-1," Zito said. "It could have been a huge sweep for us. It's frustrating as ever but they hit the pitches I was making."