SAN FRANCISCO -- To make room for outfielder Cody Ross, the Giants on Monday placed right-handed reliever Guillermo Mota on the 15-day disabled list with IT band syndrome in his left leg.

Mota has struggled of late, allowing runs in each of his past six outings. In August, the veteran right-hander has an ERA of 10.24 (11 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings) and opponents are hitting .326 off him.

Mota said the pain has been bothering him for a couple of weeks, but he decided not to say anything until his recent bad outings became a hindrance to the team. He said it's nothing serious and he's confident he'll be able to return when he's eligible to come off the DL.

The move also leaves the Giants with an 11-man pitching staff until rosters expand on Sept. 1. Despite having carried 13 pitchers at times during the past couple of months, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he didn't think the thinner bullpen would hurt the club, especially with Thursday's off-day.

"If we pitch like we should, we should be able to get by with the arms that we have," Bochy said. "If not, then that means things aren't going well. We'll see how things go the next couple days."

Magowan drops in to see Baker

SAN FRANCISCO -- Reds manager Dusty Baker and former Giants managing general partner Peter Magowan apparently have repaired their strained relationship.

Magowan dropped by the manager's office at AT&T Park's visitors' clubhouse to shake hands with Baker before Monday night's opener of the Reds-Giants series.

"It's the first time I've seen Peter in a long time," Baker said. "I was shocked to see him. I was glad to see him."

Baker managed San Francisco for 10 years (1993-2002), but a rift developed between him and Magowan that became public, particularly after the Giants' appearance in the 2002 World Series. Baker left the Giants at that point to manage the Chicago Cubs.

Their relationship began to thaw when they exchanged letters after Magowan retired from his ownership duties in September 2008.

Said Baker, "You can only carry stuff around for so long."

Every game critical for Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have been saying it for the past month: At this point, they're all big series.

But after returning to AT&T Park on Monday following a tough road trip against National League contenders Philadelphia and St. Louis, this week's three-game set against Cincinnati is even more critical as the Giants try to keep their deficit in the National League Wild Card standings as small as possible.

Along with their 2-4 road trip, the Giants are 3-6 during a current 12-game stretch in which in they play opponents in the heart of the playoff picture. A good showing against the Reds would not only keep the Giants close in the Wild Card standings, but also potentially give a boost to a club that entered Monday with a .500 record (41-41) against teams above .500.

"We just came off of two big series and we know they didn't go well, but they were important and that's not going to stop," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We know these are all critical games, just like the Reds know that, too. It's important we get back on track."

Worth noting

The Giants entered Monday having won seven of Matt Cain's previous eight home starts. In those games, the right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.22 ERA. ... Entering Monday, the Giants have scored only one run in their past 19 innings. ... Monday's series-opener against the Reds begins a stretch in which San Francisco will play 15 of its next 25 games at home.