Giants series recap: San Francisco splits series with Braves after Sunday’s ninth-inning stunner

By Toni Cecchetti
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May 31, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) gets a standing ovation from the fans after being relieved in the seventh inning of their MLB baseball game with the Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports. Braves won 7-5.

The Giants came back to town on a high after sweeping the Brewers at Miller Park. But they didn’t rest on their laurels—they got right to work.

Game 1

Chris Heston took the mound for the series opener on Thursday against the Braves, and he pitched a good game. No, I take that back—he pitched a great game. Let’s be honest—this rookie has something going on. We’ve been calling him “Hesto Presto” and talking about his magic, but his stuff is no illusion. He really is a quality MLB starting pitcher.

Heston went 7 1/3 innings, giving up no runs on four hits with six strikeouts to one walk. The rookie only allowed one runner to reach scoring position, and he even helped himself out with a stand-up double on a line drive to left—the first extra base hit of his big league career. The first hit for Atlanta was courtesy of our very own ex-third baseman, Juan Uribe. Giants fans greeted Uribe with resounding boos—not because he’s on the Braves, but because we’re apparently still upset about his Dodger days. Heston allowed only one runner to reach scoring position.

It looked like an old-fashioned pitchers duel—both teams went scoreless for six innings—but in the seventh Brandon Belt went deep with a solo homer to left-center field, putting the Giants on the board.

San Francisco scored again in the eighth. Well, maybe that’s putting it mildly. Matt Duffy led off by drawing a walk, Gregor Blanco and Nori Aoki followed up with base knocks, and the hits just kept on coming. By the time the dust cleared, the Giants had scored six runs with what our announcers called the “magic wand-doo.” Joe Panik hit a two-RBI double, Hunter Pence had a two-RBI triple, and with Belt at the plate, Pence scurried home on a wild pitch. Brandon Crawford later scored Belt with a ground rule double.

A “magic wand-doo” inning indeed.

Final score: Giants 7, Braves 0

Thursday night’s game marked the Giants fourth-straight home shutout, and their eighth shutout in their last 12 games. It’s good month to be a fan of the Orange and Black.

Next: On to slide two