On Monday night the SF Giants opened a four-game series at the Atlanta Braves by squandering the few early chances they had to score, then picking up only one run with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth inning in a low-scoring game they eventually lost via walk-off.
Tuesday was anything but a pitchers duel - both starting pitchers exited the game by the end of the fourth inning, both teams put up four innings of crooked numbers and the Giants came through with a big inning late in the bases-loaded, no-out situation they had failed in the night before - as the visitors came away with a 12-10 win.
Taking the hill for Atlanta was young right-hander Spencer Strider, who entered with a 2.45 ERA. After getting a baserunner in the first inning, the Giants broke things open in the second with four runs. Brandon Belt and Thairo Estrada singled and Tommy La Stella was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Brandon Crawford knocked in the first run with a sacrifice fly.
The Braves took the lead with a combination of two runs in the second and three more in the third against just-activated starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani. After San Francisco plated two runs in the top of the fourth to re-take the lead, Atlanta snatched it back with a two-run homer from Ronald Acuña Jr in the home half.
The game calmed somewhat from the point, with no runs in the fifth and only the Giants scoring a pair on a Mike Yastrzemski double for an 8-7 lead in the sixth.
In the seventh, Joc Pederson announced his return to the city where he played just a few months but helped with a World Series title in 2021:
The Braves matched that run in the bottom of the seventh when Estrada failed to catch a 50-foot throw from Evan Longoria for what would have been an inning-ending force out at second base; the error allowed Acuña to score from third base.
Ninth-inning outburst crucial for SF Giants
The ninth inning rolled around with San Francisco leading by one, 9-8. A walk, infield single plus an error and then an intentional walk to Pederson loaded the bases to start the frame, and with one out Estrada singled to score a run. La Stella then struck out on three pitches, but Wilmer Flores came up clutch with a line drive down the right field line to plate another pair for a 12-8 advantage.
The three additional runs were important, as in the bottom of the ninth Matt Olson slugged his second home run of the game to pull Atlanta within two. However, after giving up the shot Camilo Doval settled down and recorded a fly out and strikeout to seal the win.
With the victory, the Giants remained 3.5 games back of the NL West first-place tie between Los Angeles and San Diego.