Braves 3, Giants 2

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 19, 2012
Freddie Freeman and David Ross hit home runs as the Atlanta Braves made the most of their three hits to beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2 on Thursday to avoid a sweep. Tim Hudson (8-4) helped an Atlanta bullpen that was drained by Wednesday night's 9-4 loss in 11 innings. He gave up eight hits and two runs in 7 1-3 innings to outpitch Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner. The Giants were denied their first sweep at Turner Field. They haven't swept a series of at least three games in Atlanta since 1988 at old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The NL West-leading Giants' five-game winning streak ended with their first loss since the All-Star break. They began the day a season-best three games ahead of the second-place Dodgers. The Braves were held to three hits, none after the fourth inning. Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth inning for his NL-leading 28th save. Bumgarner couldn't extend his streak of wins in seven straight decisions. Bumgarner (11-6) gave up only three hits but allowed three runs, two earned, in seven innings. He had eight strikeouts and no walks in his first loss since May 26. He fell to 4-5 away from San Francisco. Freeman led off the second inning with his 13th homer, giving him a 10-game hitting streak. The Braves scored an unearned run off Bumgarner in the third when Paul Janish reached on third baseman Pablo Sandoval's fielding error and scored on Michael Bourn's triple. Ross pushed Atlanta's lead to 3-1 in the fourth with his fifth homer, a long shot to centerfield. It was Atlanta's third and final hit of the game. Sandoval led off the second with a single and scored on a single by Emmanuel Burris. The Giants didn't score another run until the eighth when Melky Cabrera tripled and scored on Buster Posey's flyball to center, cutting Atlanta's lead to 3-2. Notes: Giants SS Brandon Crawford, who fouled a ball off his right knee before hitting a go-ahead, three-run homer in the 11th inning on Wednesday night, started Thursday and said the knee is fine. ... The Braves are listing Ben Sheets as the starting pitcher in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader at Washington. Randall Delgado will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to start the second game. ... The Braves open the series against the Nationals on Friday night when Tommy Hanson faces Stephen Strasburg in a matchup of 10-game winners. ... The Giants open a series at Philadelphia on Friday night with Tim Lincecum, only 3-10, facing Vance Worley.
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