The Atlanta Braves hot/cold offense came alive in a weekend series versus the San Francisco Giants. Atlanta swept the three game set, scoring 18 total runs, including a 9 run outburst Sunday afternoon, only the third time all season they have managed more than six runs.
Atlanta entered the series having lost four of their previous five games, including 3 out of 4 vs. the Dodgers in LA, and with a 7-12 record overall.
It has been a season of frustration for the Braves thus far, as they have received excellent pitching, which simply has not been supported by an adequate offense. On paper, this Atlanta lineup looks extremely potent, but the results have not been there thus far.
This weekend was a different story.
Friday , Atlanta chased San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner with a four run outburst in the third inning. Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson pitched extremely well, surrendering only one run on three hits while striking out seven over seven innings. Atlanta’s lefty righty one two punch of Johnny Venters & Craig Kimbrel completely shut down the Giants in the 8th and 9th innings, with Kimbrel picking up the save. Final score; Braves 4 Giants 1.
Saturday afternoon, the Braves received another excellent outing from right-handed starter Tim Hudson. The Giants managed only 2 runs on 9 hits over 8.2 innings. Hudson left the game only after surrendering a run in the bottom of the 9th with two outs. Once again, Craig Kimbrel closed it out, picking up his 6th save of the year. Final score; Braves 5 Giants 2.
Oddly, games one and two of the series featured NO homeruns by either team.
Sundays game was a barn burner. Atlanta received another quality start from righty Brandon Beachy, who gave up two runs on three hits over six innings while striking out seven. Both runs surrendered by Beachy came on a 2 run homerun by San Francisco’s Buster Posey. The Braves Jason Heyward put the Braves in front 5 – 2 on a three run shot in the 7th, only to watch Braves reliever Jairo Asencio surrender the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Atlanta’s Dan Uggla got his first hit of the series in the top of the 8th with a solo homer. Giants closer Brian Wilson loaded the bases in the top of the 10th inning, eventually surrendering Nate McLouth’s clutch 2 RBI single. Braves lefty Johnny Venters picked up his first save of the year as he shut down the Giants in the bottom half. Final score; Braves 9 Giants 6.
Atlanta now travels south to San Diego for a three game series against the Padres at Petco Park. The Giants will take Monday off before traveling to Pittsburgh for a three game series versus the Pirates.