The Atlanta Braves seem to have some sort of ninth inning kryptonite the San Francisco Giants can’t handle: Freddie Freeman. For the second time in his career, he hits a walk-off hit against them with the bases loaded, while his team was trailing as they entered the final inning of the game.
In terms of the entire game, B.J. Upton probably deserves more credit. The Giants looked quite hard to hit until the sixth inning, when Upton hit 8th home run of the season, bringing Brian McCann home with him. It was Justin Upton in the ninth who walked to put the Braves on even terms with the Giants, before Freeman got his 5th career walk-off hit.
Sergio Romo was the pitcher who got himself into too much trouble, blowing his third save of the season. He struck out one player, but walked two and put himself in too much of a jam to get out of by the time Justin Upton (1-of-4, 1 walk) and Freeman (1-of-5) were on the plate in the ninth.
It’s just nice to be able to come back. We battled and to come back and get a win makes it nice. I just put my foot down and swung when I saw the ball. I don’t look for anything. I just put my foot down and swing and hope for the best.
B.J. Upton actually started the game with a home run, but besides him the Braves struggled early on against Chad Gaudin, or at least taking advantage of the runners in scoring positions they had, blowing the first two chances they were presented with.
For the Braves, Mike Minor had a rough time through the six innings he was on, giving up 7 hits and all five runs, despite striking out 7 batters. The Giants hit four doubles off of him, including twice by Tony Abreu. Hunter Pence gave the Giants a 3-1 lead in the 3rd inning with a single that drove Abreu home, and his sacrifice fly in the fifth inning gave Abreu (3-of-5 on the day) his second chance to reach home plate.
But when the bullpen started getting involved, the bats got a little more quiet, at least when compared to the first five innings of the game. Craig Kimbrel got the win for the Braves, even though he did get hit twice during his inning, also walking one batter but managing to get himself out of a troubling situation, striking out Pence who had runners on first and second.
The Giants were 4-of-10 with runners in scoring positions, but blew it on three of their last four opportunities. With the loss they drop to 35-32 (1.5 games behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West), while the Braves improve to 40-28, leading the East by 5.5 games.
The series will conclude with a third game in Atlanta this Sunday, followed by the Braves having to play a double header against the New York Mets, and still undecided about who the extra starter will be, aligned with the already named Paul Maholm.