Giants Can't Win Series Against Braves

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Giants Lose Game Four 6-3

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - David Ross launched a two-run homer and scored twice as the Braves clinched a series win against the Giants with a 6-3 victory at Turner Field.

Alex Gonzalez and Brooks Conrad added two hits and an RBI each for the Braves, who have won five of seven games and maintained their division lead over Philadelphia by two games.

Omar Infante chipped in with a solo home run and Melky Cabrera collected three hits and drove in an insurance run in the eighth as part of a 12-hit attack.

Derek Lowe (11-9) pitched 5 1/3 innings and was reached for five hits and two runs before being pulled by manager Bobby Cox due to cramping in his left hamstring. Takashi Saito worked the ninth to record his first save since April 26, 2009 while with Boston.

"I think coming into the series...everyone looked at the rotations -- you expect it to be good pitching games all four games. It pretty much turned out to be that way," said Lowe, who along with Jair JurrjensTommy Hanson and Tim Hudson held the Giants to five runs over 26 1/3 innings in the series.

Travis Ishikawa homered as part of a 2-for-4 showing for the Giants, who wrapped up a 2-4 road trip by dropping three of four in the series. Jonathan Sanchez (8-7) lasted just four frames in the start, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks.

San Francisco got things going in the second inning when Pat Burrell led off with a single and scored whenJuan Uribe hit a double to left-center.

The Braves came back with three in the bottom half to move in front for good. Conrad opened with a two-bagger and scored on Ross' one-out home run to left.

"It's baseball, you know, you can't expect to win all the games. We came here to win all the games, we just have to go back home and start winning again," said Sanchez. "They are a pretty good team. Ross was the pitch that killed me. That was bad pitching today."

A pair of walks and a Cabrera single loaded the bases and Gonzalez made it a 3-1 game with a sacrifice fly. Infante hit a two-out homer in the fourth to push the advantage to three.

Todd Wellemeyer took over for Sanchez in the fifth and loaded the bases right out of the shoot. Conrad came through with a base hit to score Gonzalez before Santiago Casilla entered and limited the damage.

Andres Torres doubled leading off the sixth and was allowed to score when Troy Glaus fumbled a grounder at first off the bat of Pablo SandovalPeter Moylan took over for Lowe with one out and got out of the inning without further incident, but he served up a leadoff homer to Ishikawa an inning later to make it a 5-3 game.

Jonny Venters was summoned after Moylan put another runner on and eventually induced an inning-ending double play from Torres. Venters and Kyle Farnsworth combined to pitch a flawless eighth.

Cabrera singled home Ross in the home half to increase the lead to 6-3.

Lowe is considered day-to-day and improved his record at Turner Field to 8-3 in 12 starts this season. The right-hander came in 1-4 in his last seven starts...Sanchez threw six shutout innings and scattered three hits with nine strikeouts his last time out in a 10-0 destruction of Colorado...The Giants went 2-for-33 with runners in scoring position during the series. They were 1- for-10 Sunday...Chipper Jones and Billy Wagner were both given the day off from their respective roles in Atlanta...The Braves are 40-2 this year when scoring five or more runs and 15-1 in day games at home...Highly-touted left- hander Mike Minor will make his major league debut Monday for the Braves in Houston to start a three-game series...San Francisco returns home for four games with the Cubsstarting Monday with Madison Bumgarner toeing the rubber...Infante has an 11-game hitting streak.

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Jonathan Sanchez Takes Mound, Looks To Build On Previous Performance

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves shoot for a series victory over the San Francisco Giants this afternoon, when the two playoff-hopeful clubs collide in the finale of a four-game set from Turner Field.

The National League East-leading Braves have won two of the first three meetings of this series and are coming off Saturday's 3-0 victory behind eight shutout innings from starter Tim Hudson. Hudson improved to 13-5 this season and struck out six batters, while Billy Wagner was able to record his 27th save. Wagner blew the save in Friday's 3-2 loss in 11 innings.

"Any time you bounce back from a loss is huge. Any starter, when you can get a nice lead in the game, it makes your job a lot easier. You can be aggressive and pound the zone and that's pretty much what I did," said Hudson.

Troy Glaus drove in two runs and Rick Ankiel had the other RBI for the Braves, who have won four of six games and lead the division by two games over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phils lost to the New York Mets last night.

Atlanta will hand the ball to Derek Lowe this afternoon and he's 1-4 with a 4.50 earned run average in his last seven starts. Lowe did not record a decision in Tuesday's 3-2 loss versus the Mets, as he allowed just one run in six innings of work.

Lowe, who is 10-9 with a 4.44 ERA in 23 starts this season, has pitched well at home this season, going 7-3 in 11 trips to the Turner Field mound. He is 6-5 with a 3.00 ERA in 16 career starts against San Francisco and defeated the Giants back on April 10 this season at AT&T Park, where he fired six innings of one-run ball in his team's 7-2 victory.

San Francisco is still fighting for the top spot in the NL West, but Saturday's loss certainly spoiled any chances of pulling even with San Diego atop the division. The Padres also lost yesterday to maintain a one-game edge over the wild card-leading Giants, who have dropped three of four contests.

The Giants are 1 1/2 games ahead of Philadelphia and St. Louis in the NL Wild Card standings.

Matt Cain started for San Francisco last night and was dealt the loss for surrendering all three runs and six hits in five innings. Pat Burrell had the only extra-base hit with a double in defeat.

"I made a couple bad pitches. I left that pitch a little over the plate to (Jason) Heyward and Chipper (Jones) did a good job of fighting the ball off inside. It came down to one pitch at the end and I made the pitch I wanted to and he (Glaus) beat me with a ground ball up the middle," said Cain.

Jonathan Sanchez will try to build off a solid outing when he takes the ball Sunday for the visitors. Sanchez threw six shutout innings and scattered three hits with nine strikeouts in Tuesday's 10-0 destruction of Colorado.

Sanchez, a left-hander, evened his road mark at 3-3 in 11 tries and is 8-6 overall in 23 games (22 starts) in 2010. He faced Atlanta in a 5-4 win on April 9 this season and was reached for three runs over 4 1/3 innings for the no-decision. Sanchez is 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA in six career games, four of which have been starts, against the Braves.

The Giants took two of three at home from the Braves in April and have won nine of the last 15 meetings, though they did lose three of four at Turner Field a season ago.

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Giants Lose Game Three

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Tim Hudson worked masterfully through eight innings and Troy Glaus provided enough offense with a two-run single, as Atlanta notched a 3-0 victory against the Giants in the continuation of a four-game series at Turner Field.

Rick Ankiel followed Glaus' key hit in the fourth with an RBI double as the Braves gave Hudson (13-5) all the run support he would need in one at-bat.

The streaking right-hander ran his win streak to four consecutive starts in which time he's surrendered just two runs over 28 2/3 innings. He allowed just three hits Saturday with one walk and six strikeouts. Billy Wagnerstruck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save.

The outing gave Atlanta its third win in four games and maintained the club's slim lead over Philadelphia atop the NL East standings.

San Francisco's Matt Cain (9-9) was pulled after five innings having allowed six hits and three runs while walking two and recording four strikeouts.

The Giants had won five of their last seven games after taking Friday's result, 3-2, in 11 innings.

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Giants-Braves Game Three Preview

(Sports Network) - A battle of top tier pitchers is set for tonight in Atlanta, where Braves ace Tim Hudson takes on San Francisco Giants hurler Matt Cain in the continuation of a four-game series from Turner Field.

Hudson has won three straight starts and is 6-3 in his last nine decisions. He previously toed the rubber in Monday's 4-1 home victory over the New York Mets, as Hudson stymied the NL East foes with six innings of one-run ball. The effort lifted his mark to 12-5 and lowered his ERA to 2.36 in 22 starts.

The right-hander, who is 7-3 in 10 home starts, faced San Francisco in his 2010 debut back on April 9 and did not figure into the decision of his team's 5-4 loss. Hudson held the Giants to two runs in seven innings. In 12 career starts in this series, he is 4-4 with a 3.90 earned run average.

Atlanta's lead in the National League East dipped to just one game over the surging Philadelphia Phillies after Friday's 3-2 loss in 11 innings. Giants outfielder and former Phillie Pat Burrell lifted a sacrifice fly in the top of the 11th inning to put his team ahead for good, while Braves reliever Peter Moylan was dealt the loss for allowing Burrell's run and walking four over 1 2/3 innings of work.

Tommy Hanson had a strong start wasted, as he held the Giants to just a run and three hits over seven innings in the no-decision.

"I threw the ball well. I feel like I'm going out there and giving us a chance to win, that's my goal every time out," Hanson said. "These close games. hopefully they turn around and we're on the other side of it."

Chipper Jones finished with three hits, including a home run, and Alex Gonzalez also went deep for Atlanta, which lost for the fourth time in seven tries and saw Billy Wagner blow his sixth save of the season.

San Francisco tied the game in the top of the ninth inning when Pablo Sandoval reached first on Jones' fielding error, allowing Aubrey Huff, who was hit by a Wagner pitch, to cross the plate for a 2-2 score. Burrell then made it a 3-2 game with a sac fly in the 11th frame and Brian Wilson closed the door in the bottom half for his 32nd save.

Barry Zito started for the Giants and pitched seven innings of two-run ball with 10 K's and two walks in the no-decision. Javier Lopez fanned two in the 10th to record the win.

"I had some good stuff working tonight, breaking ball was good, the slider was probably the best its been all year and the boys scratched some runs across. Hanson was good on the other side. It's good to even the series," Zito said after the Giants pulled with a game of NL West-leading San Diego. The Padres lost to Arizona last night.

The Giants ended a two-game slide and have won five of their last seven games.

Meanwhile, Cain enters this matchup on a hot streak and is 3-0 with a 1.52 earned run average in his last four starts -- all San Francisco wins. Cain, who has yielded three total runs in his last three starts, delivered 7 2/3 shutout innings in a 2-0 win over Los Angeles the last time out on Sunday.

The big right-hander has lasted at least 6 2/3 innings in each of his previous six outings, and is 9-8 with a 2.98 ERA in 22 starts this season. Cain will try to build on his 3-5 road ledger this evening and is 2-1 in four career starts against the Braves.

The Giants took two of three at home from the Braves in April and have won nine of the last 14 meetings, though they did lose three of four at Turner Field a season ago.

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Giants Win 3-2 To Tie The Series

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Pat Burrell's sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the 11th was the difference as San Francisco rallied for a 3-2 win against the Braves in the second installment of a four-game series.

Peter Moylan (3-2) walked the bases loaded with one out in the final frame and Burrell capped a 2-for-2, two-walk game by plating the deciding run.

Brian Wilson came on for his 32nd save to close it out and Javier Lopez (3-2) got the win for throwing a scoreless 10th.

San Francisco did just enough offensively to snap a brief two-game skid having scored only three runs in its last two. They grounded into three double plays, were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and scored the tying run in the ninth thanks to a pair of Atlanta errors.

Chipper Jones hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth and Alex Gonzalez homered for a second consecutive game for Atlanta, which had won three of its last four.

Billy Wagner was called on to protect a 2-1 lead in the ninth after Tommy Hanson retired 13 of the final 15 batters he faced and Jonny Venters tossed a scoreless eighth.

Wagner put the lead runner on after hitting Aubrey Huff with a pitch and Buster Posey reached on an Omar Infante error. Huff raced to third on a Juan Uribe fly out to right and Pablo Sandoval sent a ground ball down the third- base line that Jones failed to look into his glove while going for the scoop.

The ball rolled into shallow left allowing Huff to score easily. It eventually set up a bases-loaded situation after Burrell was intentionally walked, but Travis Ishikawa hit into a tailor-made 6-4-3 twin killing to keep it tied at 2-2.

Sergio Romo sent the game to extras with a quick 1-2-3 inning of work and Moylan managed to dance around a walk and a single in the 10th on a caught stealing and inning-ending double play from Freddy Sanchez.

Hanson gave up first lone San Francisco run on a first-inning groundout by Huff. Andres Torres began the game with a base hit, then swiped second and third to set up the score.

All told, Hanson surrendered three hits and two walks and struck out three to help the Braves retain a 2-1 edge after Gonzalez and Jones homered in consecutive innings off Barry Zito.

"I threw the ball well. I feel like I'm going out there and giving us a chance to win, that's my goal every time out. These close games. hopefully they turn around and we're on the other side of it.

Zito struck out 10, walked two and gave up the two solo home runs as part of a four-hit, seven-inning outing.

"I had some good stuff working tonight, breaking ball was good, the slider was probably the best its been all year and the boys scratched some runs across. Hanson was good on the other side. It's good to even the series," Zito said.

Hanson has allowed just three earned runs over his last 20 1/3 innings spanning three starts. Still and all, the sophomore right-hander hasn't won since July 3...Zito is winless in four starts...The Giants avoided losing three straight for the first time since a season-high seven-game slide from June 26-July 2...Torres collected two hits and upped his stolen base total to 21 on the year...The Braves were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position...The Giants have won nine of the last 14 meetings...Atlanta retired Tom Glavine's #47 jersey during a pre-game ceremony while inducting the pitcher into its team Hall of Fame. Glavine will became the seventh player to have his number retired by the club, joining Hank Aaron (44), Eddie Mathews (41), Dale Murphy (3), Phil Niekro (35), Warren Spahn (21), and Greg Maddux (31)...The game was also delayed an hour and 30 minutes at the outset by rain.

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Barry Zito And The Giants Both Try To Avoid Losing Three Straight

(Sports Network) - A lack of offense has the Giants in danger of dropping three straight games for the first time in a month. Things might not get better with Barry Zito on the hill.

Zito will try to avoid a third straight losing decision tonight when San Francisco tries to even its four-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

The Giants have scored just three runs in dropping back-to-back contests since a four-game winning streak. They have also been held to a pair of runs or fewer in four of their last five, including last night's 3-2 setback.

Tim Lincecum struck out seven batters over 6 1/3 innings, but allowed a two- run homer to Alex Gonzalez in the second inning and a solo shot to Eric Hinske in the seventh inning.

"You never want to go in and lose the first game in a series," said Lincecum. "We got a lot of big arms coming up in the next few games. I don't see why we can't beat these guys. We've been playing well as of late, without these last two games we're flying."

Andres Torres had three hits and knocked in a run for National League wild- card leading San Francisco, which is also just two games back of San Diego for first place in the NL West. The club will try to avoid its first three-game slide tonight since dropping seven straight from June 26-July 2, a season high.

Atlanta, meanwhile, maintained its two-game edge over Philadelphia for first place in the NL East by winning for the third time in four games and improving to 37-14 at home.

Jair Jurrjens yielded two runs over six innings for Atlanta, while Gonzalez hit his second homer as a Brave and 19th overall this year. Hinske's blast was his ninth of 2010 and came on his 33rd birthday.

"It's nice definitely to hit a home run on your birthday, but the win is more important," said Hinske. "We know we're in a pennant race. Every game is important. We're just trying to take care of ourselves and win today."

Zito will look to shut down the Braves tonight and improve on his lifetime 3-1 mark and 2.42 earned run average against them. However, the lefty is just 1-2 over his last four starts despite a 1.88 ERA, with the Giants scoring just six runs in that span.

Zito had dropped consecutive starts before getting a no-decision on Saturday versus the Giants. The 32-year-old gave up just one run on three hits over seven innings of his team's eventual 2-1 victory and is 8-6 with a 3.38 ERA this year.

Braves starter Tommy Hanson can relate. The second-year righty has lost consecutive starts despite allowing just five runs in that span, two of those earned. He lost a 2-1 decision on Monday in Cincinnati even though he allowed just two runs -- one earned -- over 7 1/3 innings, his longest start since May 10.

Hanson, who hasn't won since July 3 and is looking to snap a three-decision slide, is 8-8 with a 3.83 ERA on the year and he faced the Giants for the first and only time as a rookie last year. He picked up a victory, allowing three runs over seven innings with a still-career-high 11 strikeouts.

The Giants took two of three at home from the Braves in April and have won eight of the last 13 meetings, though they did lose three of four at Turner Field a season ago.

Atlanta will retire Tom Glavine's #47 jersey during a pre-game ceremony while also inducting the pitcher into its team Hall of Fame. Glavine will become the seventh player to have his number retired by the club, joining Hank Aaron (44), Eddie Mathews (41), Dale Murphy (3), Phil Niekro (35), Warren Spahn (21), and Greg Maddux (31).

Glavine was drafted by the Braves in 1984 and spent a total of 19 years with the club. He owns 305 career victories and is a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner. Glavine was also named MVP of the World Series after going 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in a championship victory over the Cleveland Indians and has a career mark of 244-147 with a 3.41 ERA in 518 starts with Atlanta.

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Giants Lose Game One 3-2

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Alex Gonzalez and Eric Hinske homered off Giants ace Tim Lincecum and the Braves defeated San Francisco, 3-2, to kick off a four-game set between these playoff hopefuls.

Jair Jurrjens (4-4) went six innings and yielded two runs on seven hits and three walks to remain undefeated at home this year at 4-0 in six starts.

Gonzalez's two-run shot was his second homer as a Brave and 19th of the season, while Hinske put a solo shot just over the wall in right in the sixth to serve as the game-winner for Atlanta, which was coming off taking two of three from the Mets and improved its MLB-leading home record to 37-14.

Tim Lincecum (11-5) fanned seven in 6 1/3 innings, but was bitten by the longball in allowing three runs on six total hits while walking three. He had been 3-0 over his last five starts since a personal two-game slide.

Andres Torres had three hits and knocked in a run for San Francisco, which had a four-game winning streak snapped Wednesday with a loss to Colorado.

An RBI groundout by Aubrey Huff in the first and Torres' double to plate Aaron Rowand an inning later had the Giants out to an early 2-0 lead.

Gonzalez tied it up with one swing, though, taking Lincecum deep to left after Rick Ankiel walked to begin the bottom of the second.

Things remained locked at 2-2 until Hinske muscled a 2-1 changeup out to right that just cleared the wall to give Atlanta a slim lead. From there it was up to the bullpen, which sported three nearly spotless innings to lock down the win.

Jonny Venters and Takashi Saito worked an inning each to bridge the gap to closer Billy Wagner, who notched his 26th save by getting Freddy Sanchez swinging to end the game after Torres got on with a two-out single in the ninth.

Giants rookie catcher Buster Posey, who returned to his native Georgia for the first time as a professional Thursday, was named the National League's Player of the Month on Wednesday after hitting .417 with seven homers and 24 RBI in July, a month that also included a near Giants rookie-record 21-game hitting streak. He was 0-for-4 in Thursday's game...Lincecum dropped to 6-2 lifetime versus Atlanta, which he beat on April 11 after allowing just two runs with 10 strikeouts over seven innings...The Giants took two of three at home from the Braves in April and have still won eight of the last 13 meetings, though they did lose three of four at Turner Field a season ago.

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