SF Giants suffer second straight walk-off loss
The SF Giants have been on a good run recently, taking the first two games of each of their past three series (including a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers before dropping finales to the lowly Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates).
Heading in to Atlanta to face the reigning World Series champs, however, has ended that streak.
Despite a strong outing from Logan Webb and a late rally to tie the game, the Giants lost their opener to the Braves, 2-1.
Unlike Sunday's final game at Pittsburgh, where rookie outfielder Jack Suwinski's third solo home run of the contest was a walk-off blast in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Giants saw Atlanta string together a walk and two singles in the home half of the ninth to take the first game of the potential playoff preview.
Webb danced around trouble in most of his seven frames, giving up just one run thanks to a Travis D'Arnaud solo homer in the second. He had a pair of 1-2-3 innings but allowed either a runner on base before two outs were recorded or an extra-base hit in the other four. Overall, Webb struck out seven without issuing a walk and gave up six hits.
The Giants offense was similarly stymied by Atlanta starter Max Fried. The left-hander allowed five hits and two walks while striking out eight in seven innings of one run ball of his own.
Fried helped himself early, picking off Luis Gonzalez with runners on the corners and one out in the second to help kill a rally. Darin Ruf had drawn a leadoff walk and was followed by an Evan Longoria single, and after a fielder's choice off the bat of Gonzalez retired Longoria at second base Fried froze Gonzalez with a hesitation in the windup and perfect throw to first for the second out in the inning. Thairo Estrada was then called out on strikes to strand Ruf on third base.
The SF Giants tied the game in the eighth
San Francisco was unable to mount much of a rally against Fried again until the eighth inning, where Gonzalez and Estrada singles and a Curt Casali walk loaded the bases with no outs. The Braves brought in former Giant Will Smith, who induced a shallow fly out before Austin Slater lined a base hit to center to tie the game. Despite still being in a good position with the bases loaded and just one out, the Giants were unable to take advantage as Wilmer Flores struck out in a full count and Mike Yastrzemski was barely thrown out by Matt Olson from foul territory on a ground ball to first base.
The Giants put two on in the ninth but saw Kenley Jansen strike out the side, and in the bottom of the inning Camilo Doval walked Olson and gave up a one-out hit to Marcell Ozuna before Orlando Arcia's two-out single drove in the winner.
The Giants and Braves continue their four-game series with game two on Tuesday.