Giants Vs. Braves: G-Men Fall Short Of Sweep With 3-2 Loss

Madison Bumgarner gave up just three hits on Thursday, and still took the loss for San Francisco. For more on the Black and Orange check out McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Braves, Final Score: Madison Bumgarner Takes Hard-Luck 3-2 Loss

After scoring 18 runs in the first two games of the series against the Atlanta Braves, the San Francisco Giants were looking for their first sweep in Atlanta since way back when in 1988. Unfortunately Tim Hudson was on the mound for the Braves, handing Madison Bumgarner a hard-luck loss by the score of 3-2.

Bumgarner was solid once more, allowing only three hits in seven innings of work. Unfortunately two of those hits were home runs to Freddie Freeman and David Ross, and the other was an RBI triple from Micheal Bourn. Bummy was looking to join R.A. Dickey and Gio Gonzalez as the only 12-game winners in the NL, but unfortunately it was not in the cards.

As for Hudson, he limited the damage all afternoon after giving up eight hits in 7.1 innings of work. An Emmanuel Burriss single and Buster Posey sacrifice fly were all the offense could muster off of Hudson, whom the Giants haven't beaten since 2008.

San Francisco heads right to the city of Brotherly Love as the Philadelphia Phillies await their arrival for a three game set at Citizens Bank Park.

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Giants Vs. Braves: San Francisco Seeks Rare Road Sweep At Turner Field

(Sports Network) - Madison Bumgarner has been living high on the hog pitching at home. The same cannot be said as the visitor, however.

Bumgarner will lead the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants into the finale of a three-game series today against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The young left-hander is 7-1 with a 1.81 earned run average in eight starts by the bay, but 4-4 with a 4.43 ERA in 10 starts on the road.

A first-round draft pick of the Giants back in 2007, Bumgarner is coming off seven innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 victory at home over Houston last Friday. He struck out five and walked two batters, improving to 6-1 with a 3.18 ERA in his last eight starts and 11-5 in 18 outings overall. Bumgarner bounced back nicely from a disastrous start the previous time out when he gave up seven runs and nine hits in five innings of a 9-4 loss at Washington.

In two career starts against the Braves, Bumgarner is winless (0-1) with a 4.66 ERA.

Countering for the Braves will be Tim Hudson. Hudson is coming off the shortest outing of the season, a 7-5 loss to the New York Mets in which he was tagged for four runs and eight hits in four innings of work for a no-decision.

Hudson, who tossed seven scoreless innings for a win at Philadelphia on July 6, has won four of his past six decisions and is 3-3 in eight starts at Turner Field this season. The veteran right-hander has made 15 career starts against the Giants, going 6-4 with a 3.34 earned run average.

The Giants ran their winning streak to five games with Wednesday's 9-4 win in 11 innings, using a six-run frame in the top of the 11th to put the Braves away. Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco both hit three-run homers to give San Francisco a big cushion heading into the bottom of the frame.

"We always seem to play exciting games. That one was up on the top for me," Crawford said.

Braves veteran Chipper Jones hit a leadoff homer, but that was all Atlanta could muster in the final inning. Melky Cabrera also homered and Buster Posey recorded three hits for the Giants, who have a three-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division. Ryan Vogelsong threw six innings of one-run ball in the start and Santiago Casilla earned the win.

The Giants moved to 6-1 in extra inning games this year. Posey is batting .571 (12-for-21) with 11 RBI since the break and is 6-for-9 with seven runs batted in over the last two games of this series.

San Francisco, which hasn't swept the Braves on the road since June 27-29 1988, will visit Philadelphia for three games over the weekend.

Atlanta has dropped back-to-back games since winning seven in a row and got home runs from Jones, Brian McCann and Juan Francisco in the loss. Mike Minor pitched well in the no-decision, as he allowed one run in six innings.

Anthony Varvaro was saddled with the loss and Chad Durbin allowed both home runs in the top of the 11th.

"It's an unfortunate loss," said Jones, who tied George Brett for the most RBI (1,596) by a player whose primary position was third base. "It was a well- played game until the last couple of innings. It seemed like we had some magic left in the tank there late. But obviously when you give up six runs in extra innings, it's going to spell your doom."

The Braves sit 4 1/2 games behind Washington for the NL East lead and are 3-2 on a six-game homestand. They will open a seven-game trek against Washington and Miami tomorrow.

Atlanta won six of seven matchups with the Giants a year ago.

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Giants Vs. Braves, Final Score: G-Men Out-Homer Atlanta 9-4 In Extra Innings

After a wild night at Turner Field with the San Francisco Giants dropping a 9-0 schlepping on the Atlanta Braves, Wednesday night had just as many fireworks, just not as many runs. After forcing extra innings, that's when the fun began, eventually ending with a 9-4 Giants victory.

After an 1 hour 15 minute rain delay, Juan Francisco got the game started with a homer off of Ryan Vogelsong in the bottom of the third to give Atlanta the early 1-0 lead. Melky Cabrera answered right back in the 6th with a solo shot of his own, his 9th of the year to tie the game.

Both teams dodged possible rallies until the bottom of the ninth, when Sergio Romo found himself with runners at second and third and just one out. He and Javier Lopez managed to get out of the jam and force each team to play some extra baseball. But that's when the fun began.

The Braves bullpen couldn't hold as a Joaquin Arias triple off of Anthony Varvaro started the rally in the 10th, who later scored on a throwing error by Chipper Jones. Melky Cabrera would bloop a single to left to give the Giants a two run cushion, but it would prove not enough.

Santiago Casilla would give up a two-out double to Freddy Freeman, which lead to a Brian McCann home run to tie the game up at three apiece and even more free baseball.

Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco got the last laughs though, each launching a three-run blast off of reliever Chad Durbin in the top of the 11th to make it 9-3 Giants. Chipper Jones's solo shot off of Brad Penny in the bottom of the frame made it 9-4, which would be the final score.

Full box score can be found here.

Have breakfast with the Giants tomorrow as Madison Bumgarner takes on Tim Hudson. First pitch is set for 9:10 a.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Nate Schierholtz On The Trade Block?

As the San Francisco Giants try to navigate their way through another trade deadline, Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that utility outfielder Nate Schierholtz could be put up on the trade block as the Black and Orange look to make some slight improvements.

Schierholtz, a Bay Area native who has been with the team that drafted him since 2003, told Schulman that he feels a bit like the odd man out with the team, and that he feels like a future here in San Francisco is unrealistic.

"There's no place I'd rather play than here," Schierholtz said. "It's where I grew up. It's home to me. I love the fans. I love the city. There's not one thing I can't say I love about this place, but I think I've come to the realization that maybe I'm not their guy. I'm not in the cards having a future here."

Neither Nate nor his agent Damon Lapa have asked for a trade, but when asked if he was up for one, Schierholtz didn't shy away from it.

"I think whatever the best fit for the team and me is would be ideal. I can't really make those decisions. It's all up to them. Whether I'm here or not I'm going to give my best effort every day and bust my tail."

Schierholtz was looking like the everyday right fielder, starting the season batting .372 with a 1.148 OPS after getting six hits in an April 23 doubleheader at New York. But he went 0-for-12 in the next series in Cincinnati and was 1-for-21 over the next seven games, five of those starts.

Then came Gregor Blanco, who took over an everyday role as the leadoff hitter and hasn't looked back. And with Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera set in their positions, their really is no where but the bench for Nate. But when asked about him, skipper Bruce Bochy was quick to note that he has not forgotten the hometown fan-favorite.

"Nate is an important part of this club," Bochy said. "I understand players want to be out there every day. You don't blame them. That's how they should feel. I like Nate. I love Nate in the role he's had here. He's done so much contributing in that role."

A contributing role is obviously not cutting it for Schierholtz any longer:

"I started off the year playing well and getting comfortable," he said. "I went through a five-game skid, I guess you can say, and didn't get a hit, and I found myself back on the bench and not really knowing when I would play again..."It's disappointing, but I'm still working as hard as I can and done what I can when I've been given the opportunity."

Should be interesting to see how this all pans out.

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Hector Sanchez Injury: Giants Place Catcher On 15-Day DL, Recall Eli Whiteside

According to a report from the San Jose Mercury News' Alex Pavlovic, the San Francisco Giants have placed back-up catcher Hector Sanchez on the disabled on Wednesday after spraining his knee against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday evening. The team has recalled Eli Whiteside from Triple-A Fresno in Sanchez's absence.

Sanchez was removed from the game on Tuesday in the fourth inning after diving back to first base on an attempted pick-off throw. He had an MRI Wednesday morning that showed the sprain to be more serious, causing the team to place him on the shelf.

Whiteside, a staple of the Giants team the past few seasons, missed out on making the team this spring, seeing time in 47 games for the Fresno Grizzlies this year. Whiteside is hitting .241 with one home run but owns a .313 average and .405 on-base percentage over his last 10 games. He is expected to reach Atlanta in time for Wednesday's game.

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Giants Vs. Braves: Ryan Vogelsong Out To Keep Streak Going In Game 2

(Sports Network) - Six days after facing the Atlanta Braves for the first time in his career, San Francisco Giants hurler Ryan Vogelsong joined the rotation and went on to become one of baseball's best stories last season.

In the midst of another solid campaign, Vogelsong faces off against the Braves tonight in the continuation of a three-game series in Atlanta.

Out of the majors since 2006, Vogelsong signed a minor league contract with the Giants prior to last season and joined the big-league club when Barry Zito was injured. He made two relief appearances, including a 3 1/3-scoreless frame effort versus the Braves on April 22, and then became a starter for the first time since 2004.

The right-hander ended up making the All-Star team and when all was said and done, Vogelsong went 13-7 with a 2.71 earned run average in 30 total appearances.

Set to turn 35 on Sunday, Vogelsong is 7-4 with a 2.36 ERA through 16 starts this season, including 13 quality starts. He has pitched at least seven innings in eight straight appearances, but did take the loss last time out on July 7 in Pittsburgh. Vogelsong was charged with three runs over seven innings on a season high-tying eight hits.

He'll look to get back into the win column tonight and lead the Giants to a fifth straight win after they took last night's opener 9-0.

Zito threw seven shutout innings and Buster Posey drove in a season-high five runs with three hits. Zito also helped himself out at the plate with an RBI and moved to 4-0 in five career starts at Turner Field, though he called the stat "coincidental."

"Sometimes you feel good and you end up at the same park a lot," Zito said. "I don't think there's a whole lot to it. It's a fun place to pitch. Just a real nice yard. They got a great lineup and you can't take them lightly."

San Francisco won for just the fourth time in its last 13 trips to Atlanta, but did pad its lead over the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West to three games.

The only drawback appeared to be a sprained left knee suffered by catcher Hector Sanchez. He is listed as day-to-day and is hoping to avoid a trip to the disabled list.

The Braves had a seven-game winning streak snapped and it cost them a game in the NL East. Atlanta dipped to three games back of the first-place Washington Nationals with only its second loss in its past 10 versus San Francisco.

Jair Jurrjens was charged with eight runs, including six in the fourth, on eight hits and three walks, needing 73 pitches to get through 3 1/3 frames for the Braves.

"Since the first hitter you could see they had my command," said Jurrjens. "They're a good team. I made a lot of bad pitches and they got hits on them."

Atlanta hopes that Mike Minor can keep his recent string of success going tonight and even this series with a third straight win.

Minor picked up his most recent win on July 5 versus the Cubs, turning in his longest outing in four starts. The lefty carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and was eventually charged with three runs -- two earned -- on three hits and a pair of walks in 6 1/3 innings.

"I just tried to throw strikes," said Minor about his offense providing him with a five-run cushion. "It was more just trying to go after hitters and I think I was overthrowing."

The 24-year-old moved to 5-6 with a 5.97 ERA in 16 starts and will face the Giants for the second time in his career. He won the first matchup, hurling six scoreless frames of four-hit ball and fanning nine on Aug. 18 in Atlanta.

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Braves, Final Score: Buster Posey's 5 RBI Lead G-Men To 9-0 Romp

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - The Giants made short work of Jair Jurrjens on Tuesday night and put an end to the Braves' seven-game winning streak.

Buster Posey drove in a season-high five runs, Barry Zito threw seven shutout innings and San Francisco rolled to a 9-0 victory in the opener of a three- game series that was all but over minutes after Jurrjens walked off the field in the fourth inning.

How bad were things for Jurrjens and the Braves? The resurgent right-hander was out of the game with his team trailing 8-0 before Zito gave up his first hit in the fourth inning.

"Since the first hitter you could see they had my command," said Jurrjens. "They're a good team. I made a lot of bad pitches and they got hits on them."

Zito (8-6) allowed just three hits and a walk and struck out four on a night when the Giants needed far less from the lefty to extend their winning streak to four games.

He moved to 4-0 in five career starts at Turner Field, but said the stat was "coincidental."

"Sometimes you feel good and you end up at the same park a lot," he said. "I don't think there's a whole lot to it. It's a fun place to pitch. Just a real nice yard. They got a great lineup and you can't take them lightly."

Eight of the Giants' runs were charged to Jurrjens -- six in the fourth -- to match a career-worst for the former All-Star.

Indeed, Jurrjens (3-3) looked less like the pitcher who went 3-0 in his last four starts since being called back up from the minors last month, and more like the pitcher who was sent down after laboring to an 0-2 record and a 9.37 ERA in his first four outings this season.

He gave up eight hits and three walks and threw 73 pitches in 3 1/3 innings, pulled from the game with Atlanta in a 5-0 hole. Posey delivered a three-run double off Luis Avilan minutes later, all of the runs charged to Jurrjens.

"It was a tough one," Jurrjens said. "It was just a tough one. Just a game for us to put behind us and prepare for tomorrow."

Posey, who had three hits, knocked in the first two runs with a double in the first inning and a single in the third before the Giants really poured it on.

Angel Pagan and Hector Sanchez hit back-to-back singles leading off the fourth; Pagan reached when Jurrjens failed to touch first base while covering the bag, and Sanchez would leave with a sprained left knee.

Zito then made it 3-0 with a single he slapped past a drawn-in Chipper Jones at third base.

It snowballed for Jurrjens after that. Following a walk to Gregor Blanco and RBI singles by Ryan Theriot and Melky Cabrera, he was pulled for Avilan, who made his second major league appearance.

Posey greeted the reliever with a double to the left-center field wall, scoring all three runners for an 8-0 lead.

"I feel like we've struggled a little bit to get that big hit and kind of bust some games open," said Posey. "The last road trip in Washington, we had a game where we're up four or five runs and we just couldn't seem to get the big hit to get some separation and we were able to do that tonight."

It marked the third time this season Atlanta allowed six runs in an inning.

It matched the worst career outing runs-wise for Jurrjens, who also gave up eight runs in 3 1/3 innings to the San Diego Padres on April 12, 2010.

Zito also helped another run cross in the fifth, bunting Brandon Crawford to second after a single. Crawford scored on Blanco's single a batter later for a 9-0 lead.

Game Notes

Sanchez is day-to-day...The Braves are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings between the teams...The Giants, who were coming off a three-game sweep of the Astros, started a six-game road trip against the Braves and Phillies...Zito got his third win in his last seven starts...Atlanta's seven-game winning streak was its longest since a nine-gamer from May 26 to June 3, 2010.

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Giants Vs. Braves: Barry Zito Squares Off Against Jair Jurrjens

(Sports Network) - A three-game sweep to open the unofficial second half of the season has pushed the San Francisco Giants into first place in the National League West.

A season-high winning streak also has the Atlanta Braves eyeing the top spot in their division.

The two surging clubs open a three-game series tonight at Turner Field.

The Giants dropped seven of nine before the All-Star break, but have looked refreshed since the hiatus. They finished off a sweep of the Astros on Sunday with a 3-2 victory, getting a solid start from Matt Cain.

Cain was facing Houston for the first time since pitching a perfect game against them last month. He logged 6 1/3 innings on Sunday, scattering two runs -- one earned -- on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

Buster Posey had three hits and two RBI, including the go-ahead single in the fifth inning. The All-Star catcher had logged just four hits in his previous eight games.

"We had to pitch well. We weren't quite swinging the bats the way we can," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "Buster had a nice game."

The sweep, coupled with a current span of six losses in seven games by Los Angeles, has pushed the Giants two games ahead of the Dodgers in the NL West.

The Braves, meanwhile, finished off a three-game sweep of their own on Sunday, using a big fifth inning to down the Mets 6-1. The victory was Atlanta's seventh in a row and has the club 2 1/2 games behind Washington for first place in the NL East.

Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer to highlight a six-run fifth and Ben Sheets earned the victory in his first big-league start since July 19, 2010 with the Oakland Athletics. Sheets allowed two hits over six scoreless innings, striking out five.

"He looked good today," said Atlanta's Michael Bourn, who had an RBI, of Sheets. "I know he had to be on a limit because it was only his first start. He threw the ball well. He gave us a chance and kept them off balance pretty good."

Jair Jurrjens looks to extend his own resurgence tonight as he makes his fifth start with the Braves since a two-month demotion to the minors.

Jurrjens returned to the majors on June 22 and has gone 3-0 with a 2.13 earned run average since. He won at Philadelphia on July 8, charged with three runs on six hits and a walk in seven frames. The walk was only the fifth he has issued in his last four starts.

The 26-year-old righty now sits at 3-2 with a 4.97 ERA in eight starts on the season and is 2-3 with a 3.58 ERA in five career meetings with the Giants.

Barry Zito will look to open the second half on the right foot for the Giants and is 7-6 with a 4.01 ERA in 17 starts. However, the lefty has won just twice in his last six starts and has yielded at least four runs in four of those games.

That was the case in his last outing on July 6 at Pittsburgh as Zito allowed four runs over five frames on seven hits and three walks. The 34-year-old did escape with a victory.

Zito is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in five career meetings with the Braves and four of those have taken place at Turner Field. Zito has a 2.08 ERA and 25 strikeouts in Atlanta's home ballpark, picking up all three of his wins there.

While Zito has enjoyed Turner Field, the Giants have lost nine of their last 12 in Atlanta and haven't won a series there since 2008.

The Braves have also won eight of the past nine encounters overall.

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Braves, Series Preview: G-Men Look To Cool Down Red Hot Braves

Can the Giants cool down the red hot Braves in Atlanta? For more on the Black and Orange check out McCovey Chronicles.

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