Ryan Vogelsong (1-1, 4.60 ERA) navigated his way through some tough innings to earn his first victory of 2014 as the Giants beat the Braves 3-1 in Atlanta. That’s 4 in a row for the Giants and 8 wins in their last 9 games. They managed just 4 hits on the night but 3 were all they needed.
After a quick first inning, Vogelsong labored through the next couple of innings. In the bottom of the 2nd a Brandon Crawford error led to runners at 1st and 2nd with nobody out. Pablo Sandoval then made a diving stop on a Chris Johnson hard grounder, and fired to second to start a 5-4-3 double play. Vogelsong added to the trouble by walking the next 2 Braves hitters, but retired the pitcher to get out of the inning unharmed.
The Braves did break through with a run in the 3rd inning. Jason Heyward led off with a walk and came around to score on a B.J. Upton double in the left field corner. Freddie Freeman walked and Vogey was faced with a 1st & 3rd with no outs situation. He then struck out Justin Upton. The inning ended on a beautiful strike him out, throw him out double play with Gattis whiffing and Buster Posey cutting down the stealing Freeman.
The solo home run was the name of the game again for the Giants offense. Brandon Belt got it started with his solo home run to lead off the top of the 2nd inning. It was a team leading 8th home run for Belt who has now homered in ever park the Giants have played in this season. It’s yet to be seen if he’s out of the funk, but a home run sure helps.
Buster Posey did his part leading off the 4th inning. He waited on a Julio Tehran curveball and drove it over the wall in left for his 7th HR this season. He has owned Braves starter Tehran going 6 for 9 lifetime off him with 2 home runs.
Michael Morse got in on the fun in the top of the 7th inning. He led that inning off with the Giants 3rd solo home run. It tied Morse with Belt for the team lead with 8 home runs.
The Giants have hit 9 straight home runs with no one on base. Overall they have hit 28 solo home runs to lead Major League Baseball. It’s not the worst stat to be leading in. At least they are making pitchers pay for mistakes.
The bullpen was magnificent once again. Jeremy Affeldt pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning. After he allowed a leadoff walk in the 8th, Machi took over. Two pitches, and one double play grounder, later and there were 2 outs. Machi got all 3 outs in the 8th inning on a total of 4 pitches.
Sergio Romo pitches a 1-2-3 9th inning for his 9th save this season. Brandon Crawford made an amazing diving stop on the last out of the game to seal the victory.
All 5 runs for th Giants in this series have come on solo home runs. All 3 of tonight’s home runs led off an inning.
The Giants will go for the sweep tomorrow morning in Atlanta. That’s right, it’s Sunday brunch and baseball ad first pitch is scheduled for 10:35am PT. Make sure and set your alarm!