For a team in transition, the 2015 Atlanta Braves are a delight to watch on a nightly basis and a win like tonight is a prime example. Even when the odds are stacked against them, they fight to the bitter end. Well tonight they were on the winning side as they finished off the comeback, defeating the San Francisco Giants 9-8 in 12 innings on a walk-off two-run homer by Adonis Garcia.
Garcia, a 30-year-old rookie, played in his 11th career game Monday night and drilled his third home run on the season. In 86 minor league games, Garcia hit a grand total of three home runs. Braves Country doesn’t know much about Garcia, but he’s ingratiating himself with ease.
The Giants jumped out to an early 6-0 lead as they made Turner Field look like the “The Launching Pad” that was Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford got things going as they hit back-to-back home runs to left field in the second inning giving the Giants a 2-0 lead. Buster Posey hit a no-doubter the very next inning, this time a two-run shot, to put San Francisco up 4-0. The onslaught continued in the top of the fourth inning as Brandon Crawford went deep for the second time to left field, this time a two-run homer. The Giants were up 6-0 in the fourth and looked like they would run away with a victory.
However, Atlanta would break through in the sixth inning with four runs. After bloop singles by Cameron Maybin and A.J. Pierzynski to start of the bottom of the sixth, Jace Peterson would bring life to the dugout as he belted a three-run homer to right field. Peterson finished the game going 3-for-5 with two runs scored, three RBI, and finished a triple shy of the cycle. After Garcia doubled, Nick Markakis came through with two outs in the inning as he poked an RBI single down the third base line, shrinking the Giants lead to 6-4.
By the seventh inning both starters were removed from the game. Mike Foltynewicz finished the game completing six innings where he allowed six runs on nine hits. The rookie right-hander walked one batter and didn’t record a single strikeout. Veteran right-hander Matt Cain lasted five innings giving up four runs on 10 hits, while walking one batter and striking out only one. Cain started the sixth inning but couldn’t record an out as he gave up the three-run homer to Peterson.
Atlanta would continue to comeback as Chris Johnson led off the seventh inning with a solo blast to center field, making it 6-5 Giants. Johnson entered the game in the fifth inning at first base as Freddie Freeman left the game with a strained right oblique. This was Freeman’s 10th game after coming off the disabled list that sidelined him for 30 games with a wrist injury. Freeman is listed as day-to-day.
San Francisco would add an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning as Nori Aoki would stroke a two-out RBI single to centerfield to score Ehire Adrianza. Six of the Giants eight runs came with two-outs, and Aoki’s RBI seemed like it would bury the Braves for good.
However, the Braves would return the two-out favors as Chris Johnson would line a single to left field to give Atlanta hope. The very next batter A.J. Pierzynski would send the Braves faithful to their feet as he golfed a two-run homer to right field to the tie the game at seven. Pierzynski had a night to remember as he went 4-for-6 with a home run and two RBI, while also throwing out a runner at second base.
The game would head to extras and both bullpens were up for the challenge as they pitched shutout ball for the next couple of innings. In the top of the 12th inning the Giants had two runners reach, including Kelby Tomlinson who recorded his first career hit. With two outs, Buster Posey would come through once again with an RBI single to put San Francisco up 8-7. Posey finished the game going 2-for-6 with a home run and three RBI.
Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (7-7, 4.16 ERA) came in to close the game. Unfortunately, he was up against the wall immediately as Jace Peterson reached base to lead off the inning on a throwing error by shortstop Brandon Crawford. Adonis Garcia entered the box next and was put in a favorable 3-1 hitters count. Vogelsong would throw a fastball down and away the very next pitch, and Garcia would go with the pitch and smash it over the right-centerfield wall for a walk-off two-run homer, giving the Braves a 9-8 victory.
GAME TWO MATCHUP:
San Francisco will send veteran right-hander Jake Peavy (2-4, 4.12 ERA) to the mound as the Giants look to regain their winning ways again. This will be Peavy’s eighth start of the 2015 season, and in nine career starts against Atlanta he his 3-4 with a 3.79 ERA.
Atlanta will send 24-year-old right hander Shelby Miller (5-8, 2.44 ERA) to the mound as he looks for his first victory since Mat 17th. It’s now 13 starts since the Braves All-Star has won a game. It’s also been eight-straight starts since the Braves have won a game Miller has pitched in.