Braves top reeling Giants 2-1, inch closer to division crown

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) On a day when Anibal Sanchez didn't have his best command, he found a way to help the Atlanta Braves on their march toward the postseason.

Sanchez kept the Braves close with six strong innings, pinch-hitter Tyler Flowers drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth, and the Braves moved closer to clinching the NL East with a 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.

The Giants lost their 11th straight, the worst skid since the team moved to San Francisco and the longest for the franchise since 1951.

The Braves reduced their magic number for winning the division to 11 with their fifth straight win, matching their best streak of the season, and clinched their first winning record since their last division crown in 2013. Going into Wednesday, Atlanta led second-place Philadelphia by 6 1/2 games.

''We've worked hard to get to this point,'' Braves manager Brian Snitker said. ''We've grinded through things to get to that position. We can look to bigger things now.''

Sanchez remains winless in his last seven starts. He gave up one run on six hits and five walks. He induced double-play grounders to escape bases-loaded, one-out situations in the first and the fourth.

''I didn't have the same command I've had before,'' Sanchez said. ''The defense has helped me so much and they got me out of that inning.''

The Giants scored just three runs in the series. They were swept by the Braves in a series of three games or more for the first time since 2011.

''It's never fun, obviously. Everybody comes out here and puts in the work, grinding daily, trying to do everything we can to win ballgames,'' Giants first baseman Brandon Belt said. ''These games do matter to us.''

Flowers beat out an infield hit that scored Charlie Culberson from third base with two outs in the ninth to put the Giants ahead. A replay review confirmed first base umpire Jeremie Rehak's ruling that Belt's foot was off the bag when Flowers reached first.

''I just don't get that call was not overturned based on the brief look I had at it,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ''It shows you how much the call on the field plays.''

Culberson singled leading off the inning against Will Smith (2-3). He advanced to second on Ender Inciarte's sacrifice bunt and took third on Dansby Swanson's grounder.

Dan Winkler (3-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Jonny Venters worked a scoreless ninth for his second save.

Derek Holland matched Sanchez, giving up one run in six innings of five-hit ball. He struck out seven and walked one. Over his last six starts, Holland is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 34 innings.

Evan Longoria put the Giants ahead with an RBI single in the third. The Braves drew even in the sixth on Freddie Freeman's run-scoring single.

SPIKED

Sanchez stayed in the game after Gregor Blanco stepped on his heel when Sanchez was covering first for the first out in the sixth.

''It scared me as soon as it happened, the pain ... but I wanted to finish the inning,'' Sanchez said.

DISRUPTERS

Asked about his team's potential role as a spoiler, a term he's bristled at in the past, Bochy said, ''I probably prefer `disrupters.'''

The Giants, who are four years removed from winning their third World Series title in a five-year span, play nine of their 15 remaining games against contending teams.

''It's not a great position to be in, but it is a motivating thing for the players this time of year when they're not in it,'' Bochy said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: Culberson was in Wednesday's starting lineup at third base in place of Johan Camargo, who left Tuesday's game with left groin tightness.

Giants: Belt was back in the lineup a day after being held out with a sore right knee, an injury that may require offseason surgery.

UP NEXT

Braves: RHP Kevin Gausman (9-10, 3.89 ERA) will pitch Friday at home against Washington. Gausman is 3-1 with a 4.34 ERA in five career starts against the Nationals.

Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (9-9, 4.99) will pitch Friday's series opener at AT&T Park against the Colorado Rockies. The team's winningest pitcher is 1-2 with a 2.84 ERA in four starts since his most recent callup from Triple-A Sacramento on Aug. 21.

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123456789RHE
ATL82-64
000001001281
SF68-79
001000000170
  • W: D. Winkler (3-0)L: W. Smith (2-3)S: J. Venters (3)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
R. Acuna LF40100124.290.368.575.9431.0
O. Albies 2B41100014.273.310.468.7782.5
F. Freeman 1B40210010.307.388.500.8882.5
N. Markakis RF40000003.306.371.457.8280.0
K. Suzuki C40000013.271.331.455.786-0.5
C. Culberson 3B31100100.281.330.492.8223.0
E. Inciarte CF30200010.260.317.379.6962.5
D. Swanson SS30000112.244.304.408.7120.5
A. Sanchez P20000021.000.027.000.027-1.0
a- P. Tucker PH0000-000.239.304.426.000-
b- A. Duvall PH10000003.193.272.364.6350.0
J. Biddle P0000-000.500.5001.000.000-
D. Winkler P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
c- T. Flowers PH10110000.232.352.345.6982.0
L. Adams PR0000-000.211.348.368.000-
J. Venters P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
  • a-announced for Sanchez in the 7th
  • b-fouled out for Tucker in the 7th
  • c-singled for Winkler in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
J. Panik 2B51300003.248.302.340.6424.0
A. Hanson LF30000012.259.283.444.727-0.5
a- A. Slater PH10000010.270.350.333.684-0.5
E. Longoria 3B30210200.248.286.427.7136.0
B. Belt 1B30000114.255.344.417.7610.5
B. Crawford SS40000007.258.324.396.7200.0
N. Hundley C30200100.237.297.403.6993.0
G. Blanco RF30000102.229.277.347.6251.0
G. Hernandez CF30000124.240.291.404.6950.0
D. Holland P10000111.060.078.080.1580.5
b- H. Pence PH10000001.209.250.293.5430.0
R. Moronta P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
T. Watson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
M. Melancon P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
c- C. Shaw PH10000011.048.125.190.315-0.5
W. Smith P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
  • a-struck out for Hanson in the 9th
  • b-popped out for Holland in the 6th
  • c-struck out for Melancon in the 8th
BATTING
  • 2B - O. Albies (38), E. Inciarte (23)
  • SH - E. Inciarte (4)
  • RBI - F. Freeman (85), T. Flowers (24)
  • 2-Out RBI - T. Flowers (9)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - R. Acuna, O. Albies 3 (3), K. Suzuki 3 (3), A. Sanchez
BATTING
  • 2B - E. Longoria (23)
  • SH - A. Hanson (3)
  • RBI - E. Longoria (50)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - B. Crawford 4 (4), D. Holland, H. Pence, C. Shaw
BASERUNNING
  • Picked Off - R. Acuna
FIELDING
  • Outfield Assist - N. Markakis (9)
  • DP - 2 (Albies-Swanson-Freeman; Albies-Swanson-Freeman)
  • E - J. Biddle (2)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
A. Sanchez6.06115403.011.1211.0
J. Biddle1.01001102.441.201.5
D. Winkler (W, 3-0)1.00001103.071.099.5
J. Venters (S, 3)1.00000102.671.0910.5
PITCHERSIP
A. Sanchez6.0
J. Biddle1.0
D. Winkler (W, 3-0)1.0
J. Venters (S, 3)1.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
D. Holland6.05111703.461.2617.5
R. Moronta0.01002002.661.13-3.0
T. Watson1.00000102.791.093.5
M. Melancon1.00000002.761.443.0
W. Smith (L, 2-3)1.02110101.880.88-4.5
PITCHERSIP
D. Holland6.0
R. Moronta0.0
T. Watson1.0
M. Melancon1.0
W. Smith (L, 2-3)1.0
PITCHING
  • WP - A. Sanchez (4)
  • IBB - J. Biddle (5)
  • Pitches-Strikes - A. Sanchez 99-64, J. Biddle 13-8, D. Winkler 17-9, J. Venters 13-8
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Sanchez 7-5, J. Biddle 2-0, J. Venters 2-0
  • Batters Faced - A. Sanchez 27, J. Biddle 5, D. Winkler 4, J. Venters 3
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - D. Holland 94-60, R. Moronta 14-5, T. Watson 11-8, M. Melancon 12-9, W. Smith 16-12
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D. Holland 6-4, T. Watson 1-1, M. Melancon 3-0, W. Smith 2-0
  • Batters Faced - D. Holland 23, R. Moronta 3, T. Watson 3, M. Melancon 3, W. Smith 5
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
123456789RHE
ATL82-64
000001001281
SF68-79
001000000170
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
R. Acuna LF40100124.290.368.575.9431.0
O. Albies 2B41100014.273.310.468.7782.5
F. Freeman 1B40210010.307.388.500.8882.5
N. Markakis RF40000003.306.371.457.8280.0
K. Suzuki C40000013.271.331.455.786-0.5
C. Culberson 3B31100100.281.330.492.8223.0
E. Inciarte CF30200010.260.317.379.6962.5
D. Swanson SS30000112.244.304.408.7120.5
A. Sanchez P20000021.000.027.000.027-1.0
a- P. Tucker PH0000-000.239.304.426.000-
b- A. Duvall PH10000003.193.272.364.6350.0
J. Biddle P0000-000.500.5001.000.000-
D. Winkler P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
c- T. Flowers PH10110000.232.352.345.6982.0
L. Adams PR0000-000.211.348.368.000-
J. Venters P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
Total3328203920-----
  • a-announced for Sanchez in the 7th
  • b-fouled out for Tucker in the 7th
  • c-singled for Winkler in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
J. Panik 2B51300003.248.302.340.6424.0
A. Hanson LF30000012.259.283.444.727-0.5
a- A. Slater PH10000010.270.350.333.684-0.5
E. Longoria 3B30210200.248.286.427.7136.0
B. Belt 1B30000114.255.344.417.7610.5
B. Crawford SS40000007.258.324.396.7200.0
N. Hundley C30200100.237.297.403.6993.0
G. Blanco RF30000102.229.277.347.6251.0
G. Hernandez CF30000124.240.291.404.6950.0
D. Holland P10000111.060.078.080.1580.5
b- H. Pence PH10000001.209.250.293.5430.0
R. Moronta P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
T. Watson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
M. Melancon P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
c- C. Shaw PH10000011.048.125.190.315-0.5
W. Smith P00000000.000.000.000.0000.0
Total3117107725-----
  • a-struck out for Hanson in the 9th
  • b-popped out for Holland in the 6th
  • c-struck out for Melancon in the 8th
BATTING
  • 2B - O. Albies (38), E. Inciarte (23)
  • SH - E. Inciarte (4)
  • RBI - F. Freeman (85), T. Flowers (24)
  • 2-Out RBI - T. Flowers (9)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - R. Acuna, O. Albies 3 (3), K. Suzuki 3 (3), A. Sanchez
BATTING
  • 2B - E. Longoria (23)
  • SH - A. Hanson (3)
  • RBI - E. Longoria (50)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - B. Crawford 4 (4), D. Holland, H. Pence, C. Shaw
BASERUNNING
  • Picked Off - R. Acuna
FIELDING
  • Outfield Assist - N. Markakis (9)
  • DP - 2 (Albies-Swanson-Freeman; Albies-Swanson-Freeman)
  • E - J. Biddle (2)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
A. Sanchez6.06115403.011.1211.0
J. Biddle1.01001102.441.201.5
D. Winkler (W, 3-0)1.00001103.071.099.5
J. Venters (S, 3)1.00000102.671.0910.5
Total9.0711770---
PITCHERSIP
A. Sanchez6.0
J. Biddle1.0
D. Winkler (W, 3-0)1.0
J. Venters (S, 3)1.0
Total9.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
D. Holland6.05111703.461.2617.5
R. Moronta0.01002002.661.13-3.0
T. Watson1.00000102.791.093.5
M. Melancon1.00000002.761.443.0
W. Smith (L, 2-3)1.02110101.880.88-4.5
Total9.0822390---
PITCHERSIP
D. Holland6.0
R. Moronta0.0
T. Watson1.0
M. Melancon1.0
W. Smith (L, 2-3)1.0
Total9.0
PITCHING
  • WP - A. Sanchez (4)
  • IBB - J. Biddle (5)
  • Pitches-Strikes - A. Sanchez 99-64, J. Biddle 13-8, D. Winkler 17-9, J. Venters 13-8
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A. Sanchez 7-5, J. Biddle 2-0, J. Venters 2-0
  • Batters Faced - A. Sanchez 27, J. Biddle 5, D. Winkler 4, J. Venters 3
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - D. Holland 94-60, R. Moronta 14-5, T. Watson 11-8, M. Melancon 12-9, W. Smith 16-12
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - D. Holland 6-4, T. Watson 1-1, M. Melancon 3-0, W. Smith 2-0
  • Batters Faced - D. Holland 23, R. Moronta 3, T. Watson 3, M. Melancon 3, W. Smith 5
  • 9TH INNING
    Flowers reached on an infield single to third, Culberson scored21
  • 6TH INNING
    Freeman singled to center, Albies scored11
  • 3RD INNING
    Longoria singled to right, Panik scored01
  • 9TH INNING
    • Will Smith pitching
    • C. Culberson: Strike looking, Culberson singled to left
    • E. Inciarte: Strike looking, Inciarte hit sacrifice bunt to third, Culberson to second
    • D. Swanson: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Swanson grounded out to third, Culberson to third
    • Tyler Flowers hit for Dan Winkler
    • T. Flowers: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Flowers reached on an infield single to third, Culberson scored
    • Lane Adams ran for Tyler Flowers
    • R. Acuna: Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Acuna struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Jonny Venters pitching
    • J. Panik: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Panik grounded out to pitcher
    • Austin Slater hit for Alen Hanson
    • A. Slater: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Slater struck out looking
    • E. Longoria: Strike swinging, Longoria grounded out to shortstop
    • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 8TH INNING
    • Mark Melancon relieved Tony Watson
    • F. Freeman: Foul, Foul, Ball, Freeman grounded out to third
    • N. Markakis: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Markakis grounded out to shortstop
    • K. Suzuki: Ball, Strike looking, Suzuki grounded out to second
    • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Dan Winkler relieved Jesse Biddle
    • N. Hundley: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Hundley walked
    • G. Blanco: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Blanco flied out to center
    • G. Hernandez: Ball, Hernandez lined out to center
    • Chris Shaw hit for Mark Melancon
    • C. Shaw: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Shaw struck out swinging
    • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 7TH INNING
    • Reyes Moronta pitching
    • C. Culberson: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Culberson walked
    • E. Inciarte: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Inciarte doubled to left, Culberson to third
    • D. Swanson: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Swanson walked
    • Preston Tucker hit for Anibal Sanchez
    • Tony Watson relieved Reyes Moronta
    • Adam Duvall hit for Preston Tucker
    • A. Duvall: Ball, Strike swinging, Duvall fouled out to first
    • R. Acuna: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Acuna struck out swinging
    • O. Albies: Foul, Ball, Foul, Albies grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, Swanson out at second
    • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • Jesse Biddle pitching
    • J. Panik: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Panik singled to left
    • A. Hanson: Ball, Ball, Foul, Hanson hit sacrifice bunt to right, Panik to third on Biddle throwing error
    • E. Longoria: Longoria intentionally walked
    • B. Belt: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul tip, Belt struck out on foul tip
    • B. Crawford: Crawford grounded out to second
    • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
  • 6TH INNING
    • D. Holland Pitching:
    • R. Acuna: Ball, Acuna grounded out to third
    • O. Albies: Strike looking, Albies doubled to deep left
    • F. Freeman: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Freeman singled to center, Albies scored
    • N. Markakis: Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Markakis grounded out to second, Freeman to second
    • K. Suzuki: Ball, Suzuki flied out to deep center
    • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • A. Sanchez Pitching:
    • N. Hundley: Hundley singled to left
    • G. Blanco: Strike looking, Foul, Blanco grounded out to first, Hundley to second
    • G. Hernandez: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Hernandez struck out swinging
    • Hunter Pence hit for Derek Holland
    • H. Pence: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Hundley to third on wild pitch, Pence popped out to first
    • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 5TH INNING
    • D. Holland Pitching:
    • C. Culberson: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Culberson grounded out to shortstop
    • E. Inciarte: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Inciarte reached on an infield single to shortstop
    • D. Swanson: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Swanson struck out swinging
    • A. Sanchez: Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Sanchez struck out bunting foul
    • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • A. Sanchez Pitching:
    • A. Hanson: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Hanson struck out swinging
    • E. Longoria: Ball, Longoria doubled to left center
    • B. Belt: Belt popped out to third
    • B. Crawford: Crawford grounded out to second
    • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 4TH INNING
    • D. Holland Pitching:
    • R. Acuna: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Acuna walked
    • O. Albies: Foul, Strike looking, Strike looking, Albies struck out looking
    • F. Freeman: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Freeman singled to right center, Acuna to second
    • N. Markakis: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Markakis grounded out to pitcher, Acuna to third, Freeman to second
    • K. Suzuki: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Suzuki struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • A. Sanchez Pitching:
    • N. Hundley: Strike looking, Hundley singled to center
    • G. Blanco: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Blanco walked, Hundley to second
    • G. Hernandez: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Hernandez struck out swinging
    • D. Holland: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Holland walked, Hundley to third, Blanco to second
    • J. Panik: Ball, Panik grounded out to shortstop, Holland out at second
    • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 3RD INNING
    • D. Holland Pitching:
    • E. Inciarte: Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Inciarte struck out looking
    • D. Swanson: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Swanson grounded out to shortstop
    • A. Sanchez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Sanchez struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • A. Sanchez Pitching:
    • J. Panik: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Panik singled to right
    • A. Hanson: Strike looking, Hanson grounded out to shortstop, Panik to second
    • E. Longoria: Strike swinging, Ball, Longoria singled to right, Panik scored
    • B. Belt: Foul, Belt flied out to center
    • B. Crawford: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Crawford fouled out to third
    • End of the 3rd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 2ND INNING
    • D. Holland Pitching:
    • N. Markakis: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Markakis grounded out to second
    • K. Suzuki: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Suzuki flied out to deep center
    • C. Culberson: Strike looking, Culberson lined out to right
    • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • A. Sanchez Pitching:
    • N. Hundley: Hundley fouled out to catcher
    • G. Blanco: Ball, Strike looking, Blanco grounded out to shortstop
    • G. Hernandez: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Hernandez walked
    • D. Holland: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Holland struck out swinging
    • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 1ST INNING
    • D. Holland Pitching:
    • R. Acuna: Ball, Ball, Acuna singled to center
    • O. Albies: Acuna picked off at first, pitcher to first, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Albies flied out to deep center
    • F. Freeman: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul tip, Freeman struck out on foul tip
    • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • A. Sanchez Pitching:
    • J. Panik: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Panik singled to center
    • A. Hanson: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Hanson grounded out to second, Panik to second
    • E. Longoria: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Longoria walked
    • B. Belt: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Belt walked, Panik to third, Longoria to second
    • B. Crawford: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Crawford grounded out to shortstop, Belt out at second
    • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)