Braves 3, Giants 2
Teammates quietly wished Eric Hinske a happy birthday before the game. The celebration came afterward.
Hinske snapped an 0-for-17 hitless streak with a tiebreaking, sixth-inning home run off Tim Lincecum to help the Atlanta Braves to a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night.
Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the second inning – his second as a Brave – for the only other runs off Lincecum (11-5).
Hinske talked more about the home run by Gonzalez than he did about his own game-winner.
The Giants had taken a 2-0 lead on single runs in the first two innings before Gonzalez tied it.
”Usually when you give the two-time Cy Young Award winner a two-run lead, it’s over. It was a huge win for us. You can’t underestimate getting a win against their No. 1,” Hinske said.
”It was great. We beat tonight one of the best pitchers in the National League. We hit at the right time,” Gonzalez said.
”Those two pitches were the difference in the game,” Lincecum said. ”Except for two pitches, I would have been OK.”
He didn’t think either home run would go out, though.
”They had enough to clear the fence, and that’s all that matters,” he said.
Jair Jurrjens (4-4) went six innings for the Braves, allowing seven hits, two runs and three walks. He struck out three.
”A huge lift,” Atlanta’s Chipper Jones said of the home runs as well as the pitching.
”JJ came out of the gate and wasn’t sharp, but he battled through it. He got out of the first two innings with only one run in each and gave us a chance, then turned it over to our bullpen,” Jones said.
Billy Wagner picked up his 26th save in 31 attempts with a scoreless ninth.
Lincecum, who had won six of his seven previous starts against Atlanta, gave up six hits and three runs in 6 1-3 innings, walking three and striking out seven.
The NL East-leading Braves, who have won three of four, own the best home record in the majors at 37-14.
The Giants took a 2-0 lead on Aubrey Huff’s RBI groundout in the first and Andres Torres’ run-scoring double that drove in Pablo Sandoval, who had doubled, in the second. Jurrgens gave up four hits in the first two innings.
The Braves tied it in the second when Gonzalez hit a 1-2 pitch into the left field seats following a walk to Rick Ankiel.
Hinske hit a 2-1 pitch over the right-center field fence for his ninth homer of the season.
The Giants, who entered the game with major league-best 15-5 record since the All-Star break, lost their second straight.
NOTES: Gonzalez, who was traded to Atlanta on July 14, had 17 home runs and 50 RBIs with Toronto. … Five of San Francisco’s first six hits were doubles. … The start of the Giants-Braves game on Friday night was pushed back 15 minutes to 7:50 p.m. due to the ceremony for the retirement of Tom Glavine’s No. 47. … Giants C Buster Posey left Wednesday’s game in the seventh inning after taking a foul ball off his right shoulder, but was back in the lineup Thursday night. Posey was the NL player of the month for July, after hitting .417 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs. … The Braves placed RHP Kris Medlen on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Cristhian Martinez from Triple-A Gwinnett. …The Giants activated RHP Todd Wellemeyer from the 15-day DL and designated RHP Denny Bautista for assignment.