SAN FRANCISCO –– On Saturday night, the Giants bats were silenced from a dominant performance by Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz. Coming into the rubber-match of the three-game series, the Giants without a doubt had to win this game. They had their ace on the mound in Madison Bumgarner and a healthier lineup to provide him with run support. Saturday night, the team was without Brandon Belt, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence. Belt and Posey returned to the lineup for the final game of the series.
Bumgarner got into trouble in the first inning as the Braves scored first on a sac-fly from Matt Kemp. The Giants responded with two in the bottom half on a Jarrett Parker sac-fly and a Joe Panik solo homer to right. Bumgarner then settled down as his offense continued to provide him with support.
In the bottom of the fourth, Panik launched a two-run homer (second of the game), followed by a solo shot from Denard Span as the Giants extended their lead to 5-1. Bumgarner gave up a two-run homer to Freddie Freeman in the top of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to two.
The Giants offense is starting to get its swagger back, and could not come at a better time. There are a few major differences from the offense of late vs. the offense a week or two ago.
1). Home runs are being hit by guys other than Posey, Belt and Crawford. More specifically, Span (3 HR’s in his last 8 games), Angel Pagan and Panik (3 HR’s in last 4 games) have been doing damage with the long-ball.
2). They’re back to the “No Mercy” style of offense. The slumping Giants scored their runs in one, maybe two innings and that would be all. But the Giants of late continuously have added on throughout the game, which is what made them so successful in the first half of the season.
3). Two outs does not mean the inning is over. This team thrived on driving in two-out runs in the first half, and they’re finally back to doing so.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Crawford tripled to score Posey. After Belt walked, Parker launched a triple into the alley that scored Belt and Crawford. The Giants then led 8-3.
The offense wasn’t finished as they continued to add on, scoring five more runs. Panik picked up his fourth RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly that scored Parker. Eduardo Nunez followed with his 14th home run of the year (second with the Giants). Connor Gillaspie hit the Giants’ third triple of the inning before Denard Span was hit by a pitch. Both Span and Gillaspie scored on a Gorkys Hernandez double to center.
The inning continued with a walk and then another single by Crawford before Belt knocked in another run. The Giants offense scored eight times in the bottom of the seventh, bringing 14 batters to the plate to blow the game wide open, 13-3.
For the first time since the All-Star break, the Giants won a series at home as they continue to rebound from a horrific month of August.
Finals for yesterday’s game:
Giants: 13 Braves: 4
W: Bumgarner (13-8, 2.49) L: Blair (0-6, 8.23)