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San Francisco at Atlanta

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San Francisco (51-41)010000010291
Atlanta (50-41) «01110000x330

Braves rebound to avoid Giants sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Fredi Gonzalez said the Braves' win against San Francisco on Thursday could prove to be their biggest of the season.

Atlanta's manager was obviously pleased the Braves avoided being swept by the Giants, but he was particularly encouraged by the way his team bounced back and regained some momentum after a tough loss.

Freddie Freeman and David Ross hit home runs in Thursday's 3-2 victory over the Giants. The Braves fell apart late in Wednesday night's 9-4 loss in 11 innings to San Francisco, but now head to Washington on a positive note for a four-game series against the NL East-leading Nationals.

"You lose two in a row after winning seven and it feels like you'll never win again," the Braves manager said, referring to the team's season-best winning streak that ended with two losses to the Giants.

"Big win," Gonzalez said. "It really is a big win after losing that game last night in extra innings and not leaving here until almost 2 in the morning. Coming back on short rest is really huge and could be the biggest win for us this year, depending on how that weekend [at Washington] goes."

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The Braves began the day second in the NL East, 4 1/2 games behind the Nationals.

Tim Hudson (8-4) helped an Atlanta bullpen that was drained by Wednesday night's loss. He gave up eight hits and two runs in 7 1/3 innings to outpitch Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.

Freeman hit his 13th homer in the second. Michael Bourn's run-scoring triple in the third gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead.

Ross pushed the lead to 3-1 with his homer in the fourth. The Braves didn't manage another hit.

"Obviously we made those three hits count," Hudson said.

The Giants were denied their first sweep at Turner Field. They haven't swept a series of at least three games in Atlanta since 1988 at old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

The NL West-leading Giants' five-game winning streak ended with their first loss since the All-Star break. They began the day a season-best three games ahead of the second-place Dodgers and settled for winning two of three against the Braves.

"You take it," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "That's what you try to do, take series. It's hard to do.

"Sure, it's a tough loss, with the pitching we had. But you take it."

Bumgarner and Clay Hensley held the Braves to three hits, none after the fourth inning.

The Giants had nine hits but stranded eight baserunners.

"We couldn't get a timely hit," Bochy said. "That was the difference in the game."

Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth inning for his NL-leading 28th save.

Hudson has pitched at least six innings in 11 of his 15 starts.

"It was a lot of fun catching him," Ross said. "He's our horse and we need him pitching well."

Bumgarner couldn't extend his streak of wins in seven straight decisions. Bumgarner (11-6) gave up only three hits but allowed three runs, two earned, in seven innings. He had eight strikeouts and no walks in his first loss since May 26. He fell to 4-5 away from San Francisco.

"I didn't give up a lot of hits today so I felt good," Bumgarner said. "The homers killed me."

Freeman's 13th homer gave him a 10-game hitting streak.

"Freddie's homer I thought was much bigger than mine," Ross said. "Coming off last night, it was nice to get the momentum back early in the game."

The Braves scored an unearned run off Bumgarner in the third when Paul Janish reached on third baseman Pablo Sandoval's fielding error and scored on Bourn's triple.

Sandoval led off the second with a single and scored on a single by Emmanuel Burris. The Giants didn't score another run until the eighth when Melky Cabrera tripled and scored on Buster Posey's flyball to center, cutting Atlanta's lead to 3-2.

Notes

  • Giants SS Brandon Crawford, who fouled a ball off his right knee before hitting a go-ahead, three-run homer in the 11th inning on Wednesday night, was 0-for-4. He said the knee is fine.
  • The Braves are listing Ben Sheets as the starting pitcher in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader at Washington. Randall Delgado will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to start the second game.
  • The Braves open the series against the Nationals on Friday night when Tommy Hanson faces Stephen Strasburg in a matchup of 10-game winners.
  • The Giants open a series at Philadelphia on Friday night with Tim Lincecum, only 3-10, facing Vance Worley.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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David Ross sends one of the Braves' three hits over the fence as the team bounces back following a tough extra-inning loss. (Getty Images)
David Ross sends one of the Braves' three hits over the fence as the team bounces back following a tough extra-inning loss. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

T. Hudson
IP 7.1
H 8
ER 2
BB 2
K 3
Atlanta

F. Freeman
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Gregor Blanco, RF4000101 .251
Brandon Crawford, SS4000002 .236
Melky Cabrera, LF3120100 .357
Buster Posey, C3011001 .308
Pablo Sandoval, 3B-1B4120002 .303
Angel Pagan, CF4000034 .282
Brandon Belt, 1B3010010 .244
   a- Justin Christian, PH1000001 .179
    Joaquin Arias, 3B0000000 .244
Emmanuel Burriss, 2B4021010 .217
Madison Bumgarner, P3010002 .140
    Clay Hensley, P0000000 .000
   b- Nate Schierholtz, PH1000000 .248
Totals3429225  
a-flied out for Belt in the 8th
b-grounded out for Hensley in the 9th
Batting
2B - Pablo Sandoval (16, O'Flaherty)
3B - Melky Cabrera (8, Hudson)
SF - Buster Posey (6)
RBI - Buster Posey (53), Emmanuel Burriss (6)
SB - Emmanuel Burriss (5, 2nd base off Hudson/Ross)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Pablo Sandoval (9, Misplayed grounder)
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Madison Bumgarner (L,11-6) 7332082 3.12
Clay Hensley 1000010 3.44
Pitches-Strikes - Madison Bumgarner 107-66, Clay Hensley 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Madison Bumgarner 10-4, Clay Hensley 1-1
Batters Faced - Madison Bumgarner 25, Clay Hensley 3
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF4011030 .305
Martin Prado, 3B3000011 .309
Jason Heyward, RF3000011 .269
Freddie Freeman, 1B3111010 .275
Matt Diaz, LF3000000 .222
David Ross, C3111010 .293
Dan Uggla, 2B3000010 .216
Paul Janish, SS3100000 .143
Tim Hudson, P1000010 .185
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Hinske, PH1000000 .204
    Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
Totals2733309  
a-popped out for O'Flaherty in the 8th
Batting
3B - Michael Bourn (7, Bumgarner)
HR - Freddie Freeman (13, Bumgarner), David Ross (5, Bumgarner)
SH - Tim Hudson (4)
RBI - Michael Bourn (36), Freddie Freeman (55), David Ross (12)
2-OUT RBI - David Ross (6)
Team LOB - 1
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jason Heyward 1
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tim Hudson (W,8-4) 7.1822230 3.70
Eric O'Flaherty (H,17) 0.2100010 2.88
Craig Kimbrel (S,28) 1000010 1.22
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 95-61, Eric O'Flaherty 6-5, Craig Kimbrel 8-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 10-8, Craig Kimbrel 2-0
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 31, Eric O'Flaherty 3, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29635
Game Time - 2:21
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - D.J. Reyburn, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper