Giants 6, Braves 3
WP: Tim Linececum (2-0)
Save: Jeremy Affeldt (1)
Giants Home run: Pablo Sandoval (1)
Giants record: 5-1, first in NL West by 1 game over Arizona
Fans who waited through a four-hour rain delay Sunday at AT&T Park were treated to two sights they hope to see a lot of: Tim Lincecum setting down batters with ease and Pablo Sandoval smacking the ball all over the yard.
That combination allowed the Giants to finish their series with the Atlanta Braves with a 6-3 victory Sunday.
But for the longest time, it looked as if the Giants offense would produce another frustrating effort, and that one pitch would haunt Lincecum.
In the first inning, Lincecum threw one too many fastballs to the Braves’ Brian McCann, and McCann made the Giant ace pay by hammering a fastball into the arcade in right center for a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Giant hitters were being set down in order by Kenshin Kawakami, who set down the first 11 batters he faced.
That was until two out in the fourth, when Sandoval made his first solid contact with the ball all season, sending a shot into triples alley in right center for a triple. Then Aubrey Huff followed with a nice bit of hitting to drive Sandoval home.
The Braves had been putting on the Barry Bonds shift on Huff. But with Sandoval on third, they appeared to play Huff straight away. But just before the pitch, Atlanta shortstop Yunel Escobar shifted straight up the middle above second base. When Huff got a pitch on the outer half of the plate, he slapped into left center, into the spot vacated by Escobar.
In the sixth, the Giants pulled some more two-out magic. Sandoval again got it started by shooting a liner to left field. Huff followed with a walk. Then Mark DeRosa went with the pitch and shot the ball into right. As Sandoval slide home to score, he was struck by the throw from RF Jason Heyward. The ball kicked toward the Braves dugout, allowing Huff to score and DeRosa to take third. That put the Giants up 3-2.
In the eighth, after Aaron Rowand led off with a single, Sandoval hit his first home run of the year with a blast to right that would have certainly landed in the bay if not for the gale-force headwind.
So, to conclude, it was a great day for the Giants because ….
- Lincecum gave up two earned runs over 7 innings with 10 strikeouts. He did not allow a run or a walk after the first inning.
- Pablo Sandoval went 3 for 4 with a single, triple and home run.
- For the first time all season, the Giants DID NOT hit into a double play.