Instant Replay: Braves 7, Giants 1


Instant Replay: Braves 7, Giants 1

BOX SCORESAN FRANCISCO Tim Lincecum struggled out of the gate, Tim Hudson cruised through the Giants lineup for seven innings, and the Braves beat the Giants 7-1 on Sunday to split the four-game series after losing the first two contests.Starting pitching report With the rare 5:00 start time, Tim Lincecum had the benefit of the baseball leaving his hand in sunlight and reaching home plate in the shadows to start the ballgame. It didnt appear to help, however, as the Giants right-hander walked Braves leadoff man Michael Bourn and continued to unravel en route to allowing two first inning runs. After Lincecum induced a fly out from Reed Johnson, Bourn stole second and advanced to third on a single by Jason Heyward, who also stole second. A walk to Freddie Freeman loaded the bases for Martin Prado, who drove in Bourn with a fielders choice. Brian McCann followed with a bloop single into the Bermudas Triangle behind second base in right-centerfield for a 2-0 Braves lead. Lincecum has allowed 25 first-inning runs this season, the most in the big leagues.Lincecum kept the Braves off the board in the second, but gave up a single to the opposing pitcher Tim Hudson and allowed Bourn to steal his second base in as many innings.The Lincecum of yesteryear returned briefly in the third, as Heyward struck out chasing a high, tailing fastball and Freeman and Prado both grounded out for the first Atlanta 1-2-3 inning. But the nostalgia didnt last long, as Lincecum hung a one-out, 1-1 change-up to Juan Francisco in the fourth inning that ended up halfway up the centerfield Bleachers above the VISA sign. Since Barry Bonds retired, not many players have hit one to that part of the ballpark.Lincecum cruised through the fifth inning with three consecutive groundouts for his second 1-2-3 inning, but was lifted for pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot in the bottom half of the frame having thrown 90 pitches on the evening.Lincecums line: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, one tape measure home run. Fifty-three of his 90 pitches were strikes.The two-time Cy Young winner has now thrown just nine quality starts in his 27 outings this season. He had 26 quality starts in each of those award-winning seasons (2008 and 2009).Bullpen report Jose Mijares relieved Lincecum to open the sixth inning and didnt last long. He walked Prado, gave up a single to McCann and struck out Francisco swinging before giving way to George Kontos. Kontos allowed both of his inherited runners to score on a triple by Paul Janish that was aided by some sloppy defense by Gregor Blanco and Angel Pagan. He made up for the fat pitch to Janish by spoiling a suicide squeeze attempt, though. As Janish broke for home, Tim Hudson sent a bunt right back to Kontos, who fed catcher Hector Sanchez with an underhanded throw to get the out at home and keep the Atlanta lead at 5-0. Kontos finished the sixth inning and stayed in for a 1-2-3 seventh before giving way to Jeremy Affeldt in the eighth.Affeldt, who had allowed six runs on 10 hits and six walks over his last nine appearances, bounced back with a scoreless inning, but it wasnt without some drama. After Prado grounded out to shotstop for the first out, McCann worked around Bruce Bochys shift with a perfectly placed bunt down the third-base line. Affeldt followed with a walk to Francisco, then got Janish to fly out to center, which allowed McCann to move up to third. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez called upon Chipper Jones to pinch-hit and he doffed his batting helmet to the crowd giving him a standing ovation for what could be his final appearance at AT&T Park, barring a playoff rematch. Jones hit a sharp ground ball to shortstop that ate up Brandon Crawford, but he recovered in time to get Jones at first and avoid a run-scoring error.Clay Hensley got the call in the ninth and, after two quick outs, served up back-to-back home runs to Heyward and Freeman for some Atlanta insurance. Pence bailed Hensley out of a longer inning with a sliding catch to send the game to the bottom of the ninth. At the plate Tim Lincecum threw 32 pitches in the top of the first inning. Tim Hudson needed just seven to set down the Giants 1-2-3 hitters in the bottom of the opening frame.The Giants didnt put up much more of a fight as the game moved along, either. Hudson worked around singles in the second, third and fourth innings, but still threw just 43 pitches through his first four innings of work. Hudson struck out three as he set down the Giants in order and the fifth and sixth innings before running into his first bit of trouble following the seventh-inning stretch.Buster Posey and Hunter Pence led off the seventh with back-to-back singles. Hector Sanchez almost hit the Giants 62nd splash hit, but his drive over the right-field arcade hooked foul. He eventually flew out to center before Gregor Blanco walked to load the bases for Brandon Crawford, who sent a ball to shallow center that allowed Posey to tag up and score the Giants first and only run. Hudson responded to the destruction of his shutout bid by getting pinch-hitter Brandon Belt to ground out to shortstop to end the threat.Dating back to August 29, 2006, Tim Hudson owns a six-game winning streak against the Giants, spanning nine starts. The Giants didnt fare much better against the Braves bullpen, as Jonny Venters worked around a one-out walk by getting Sandoval to ground into an easy 4-6-3 double play to end the eighth inning. Sandoval finished 0-for-4 on his bobblehead night. Pence laced a one-out single off Cristhian Martinez in the ninth inning for the Giants sixth hit of the game. But Sanchez popped out behind third base and, after a Blanco walk, Crawford flew out to Heyward in right to end the homestand.In field In the fourth inning, Angel Pagan appeared to lose a shallow fly ball in the sun off the bat of Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, who was credited with his second single of the game.Reed Johnson hit a high chopper to open up the fifth inning. Pablo Sandoval patiently waited for gravity to bring the ball back to his glove, then rushed the throw and sent it very low across the diamond. Brandon Belt has bailed Sandoval out of a few low throws recently with some slick glove work, but this time it was Buster Posey at first who took care of the one-hop throw for the out.On the bases The Braves stole three bases in the first two innings against the Tim Lincecum-Hector Sanchez battery. The Giants didnt attempt a single theft.Attendance The Giants announced a crowd of 41,735 for their 149th consecutive sellout. A number of Pablo Sandoval bobbleheads were already for sale on eBay before the games final out was recorded.Up next The Giants will enjoy a scheduled day off Monday before opening up a three-game series against the Astros in Houston. Matt Cain (13-5, 2.83 ERA) will start the opener for the Giants against Northern California native Bud Norris (5-11, 5.19 ERA).

Unhappy Buster Posey bashes Phillies closer after hit-by-pitch

Unhappy Buster Posey bashes Phillies closer after hit-by-pitch

In what was set up to be a pivotal matchup of the game turned into a heated exchange.

Buster Posey stepped into the batter's box in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday against Phillies closer Hector Neris.

But Posey never got to swing the bat. On the first pitch, Neris drilled the Giants catcher in the ribs with a 95 MPH fastball.

Posey whinced in pain and as he walked to first base, he appeared to ask Neris if the pitch was on purpose.

After the game, Posey was asked about the kerfuffle.

"I'm pretty certain he hit me on purpose. And it's just a shame because I wanted to compete that at-bat and he's got good stuff. But I guess he didn't feel like he couldn't get me out," Posey told reporters after the game.

Posey was asked if he could think of any incidents in previous games against the Phillies that could have led to the hit-by-pitch. He said no and asked the reporters if they could think of anything.

Posey's comments were brought to Neris after the game.

"It's stupid because nobody who watched that said, 'Oh he hit him on purpose in that situation,'" Neris told reporters, according to the Philly Inquirer.

Posey and Neris have faced each other just one time in the past. In the ninth inning of the June 3 matchup in Philadelphia, Posey flew out to left field.

Strickland hammered by Phils, Giants officially eliminated from NL West contention

Strickland hammered by Phils, Giants officially eliminated from NL West contention


SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner pitched six innings in one of his best starts this season, took a line drive off his left shin and hit an RBI single that temporarily gave the Giants an early lead.

The reward? A heaping of praise from manager Bruce Bochy, handshakes from his teammates and another no-decision - Bumgarner's third in eight starts since coming off the disabled list.

Philadelphia rookie Rhys Hoskins homered again, Pedro Florimon contributed with his bat and arm, and the Phillies scored three runs in the eighth to beat the Giants 5-2 on Sunday.

In what has been a theme for San Francisco much of the season, Bumgarner's efforts were overshadowed by another meltdown from the Giants' bullpen.

"I thought it was a good day for Madison," Bochy said. "We had it lined up like we wanted as far as the bullpen. (Hunter Strickland) just had an off day making some mistakes."

Bumgarner allowed one run and four hits. He stayed in despite taking a sharp line drive off his left shin in the second inning by Nick Williams - earlier this month, Williams hit Mets ace Jacob deGrom in the triceps with a line drive, forcing him from the game.

"I tried to do a kick save but I wasn't very good at soccer," Bumgarner said. "It almost worked out."

Hoskins connected for a solo drive in the ninth inning, making him the first Phillies player in at least 100 years to hit five home runs in his first 11 major league games.

"I got to better counts, I think this week, and the results show," Hoskins said.

Florimon hit a two-run single off Strickland (2-3) to cap a three-run eighth inning that made it 4-2. Florimon also had an RBI double off Bumgarner in the second, then made a sparkling defensive play in left field to throw out Buster Posey at the plate in the bottom of the inning.

It was Florimon's first major league game in left field.

"I just try to catch the ball and throw the ball to home plate and see what happens," Florimon said. "I made a good throw."

Adam Morgan (2-1) retired three batters for the win, a day after throwing just one pitch and getting the victory.

Hector Neris pitched 1 1/3 innings for his 15th save. He struck out Pablo Sandoval with the bases loaded to end the eighth after hitting Posey in the back with a pitch, then fanned Denard Span with two on in the ninth to end it.

The Phillies won the season series against the Giants for the first time since 2011.

Philadelphia trailed 2-1 going into the eighth. Hoskins and Maikel Franco hit consecutive one-out singles before Jorge Alfaro tied it with an RBI single. After Williams singled to load the bases, Florimon slapped a 1-2 pitch into right field.

Posey had two hits and an RBI, extending his hitting streak against the Phillies to 22 games. Kelby Tomlinson scored a run and Ryder Jones doubled and scored for San Francisco.

Posey had a rough afternoon physically. In addition to taking a 95 mph fastball in the back, Posey also appeared to get hurt while tagging out a sliding Cameron Perkins at the plate in the second.

Afterward, the Giants' All-Star catcher voiced his displeasure about Neris.

"I'm certain that he hit me on purpose," Posey said. "It's just a shame because I wanted to compete that at-bat and he's got good stuff. But I guess he didn't feel like he could get me out."

Giants 2B Joe Panik (concussion symptoms) continues to make steady progress and could come off the disabled list in time to join San Francisco on its upcoming road trip that begins Friday in Arizona.

Phillies: The team gets an off day before hosting Miami in a doubleheader Tuesday. RHP Dan Straily (7-8, 3.80 ERA) pitches in the first game and RHP Jose Urena (11-5, 3.61 ERA) goes in the nightcap.

Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (1-2, 4.91) faces Milwaukee on Monday.