The Braves lost to Matt Cain and the Giants 7-5 Wednesday night in Atlanta. The Braves couldn’t quite cash in on early opportunities against Cain while the Giants were able to take advantage of a poor 4th inning from Jair Jurrjens to score 4, putting the Braves in a 5-1 hole. After that Cain shut the Braves down until the ninth, when the Braves rallied against the Giants pen.
In the first, Fontenot hit a 1 out double off of Jurrjens. Pablo Sandoval followed with a RBI double to make it 1-0. In the Braves first, Michael Bourn led off with a single. After Martin Prado popped out, Brian McCann singled putting runners at first and second. Dan Uggla then hit a grounder to Sandoval at third. Sandoval missed the tag on Bourn as he ran by and then threw late to first (he was given an error on the play), loading the bases with 1 out. After Freddie Freeman struck out, Chipper Jones drew a RBI (54) walk to make it 1-1. Jose Constanza then flew out to left.
In the 2nd, Jurrjens hit a 1 out single but Bourn ground out and McCann struck out. In the 3rd, Uggla hit a lead off double (18). During Freeman’s at bat, catcher Whiteside threw behind Uggla at second and the ball got away so Uggla advanced to third. Freeman and Chipper struck out then Constanza ground out to end the inning.
Then came the fatal 4th. Huff led off with a double. Schierholtz hit a flare single to center putting runners at first and third. Cabrera hit a RBI single to make it 2-1. Jurrjens walked Belt on 4 pitches. Whiteside hit a RBI single. Pitcher Cain hit a deep sac fly RBI. Then Ross hit another sac fly to make it 5-1. The inning mercifully ended with McCann throwing out Whiteside on an attempted steal of second.
Cristhian Martinez came on to pitch a scoreless 7th and 8th. Scott Linebrink pitched in the ninth. He walked Cody Ross then allowed a double to Fontenot putting runners at 2nd and 3rd with no out. Sandoval and Huff each picked up sac flies (the Giants’ fourth of the game) to make the score 7-1. At the time these seemed like inconsequential runs–not so fast, my friend.
In the 9th, Runzler came on in relief of Cain. Freeman singled. After Chipper flew out, pinch hitter Brooks Conrad walked. Julio Lugo ground into a fielder’s choice putting runners at first and third with 2 outs. Lugo took second on catcher’s indifference. Jason Heyward then singled (31 RBIs) to score Freeman. Affeldt came on for Runzler. Bourn hit a little infield pop that Cabrera came running in to field but it bounced off of his glove for an error, allowing Lugo to score. Prado then hit a double to dead center, scoring two (48 RBIs) making it 7-5. The tying run then came to the plate in the person of McCann. Alas, he struck out on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
Jurrjens pitched 6 innings allowing 8 hits and 5 runs, dropping his record to 12-5. Cain was better, going 8 innings and only giving up 5 hits and 1 unearned run while striking out 9 Braves.
Standings: The Braves are 8 1/2 games behind the Phillies. We are the wild card leader over the Giants by 5 games and over the Cardinals by 6 games.
Tomorrow’s Game: Giants Tim Lincecum vs Mike Minor at 7:10 on SportSouth. Minor is filling in for Tommy Hanson who is on the 15 day DL.
News: The Braves signed Marlins’ cast-off infielder Wes Helms (former Brave). He will be assigned to AAA Gwinnett.