Braves 4, Giants 1

The electric atmosphere and full house reminded Tommy Hanson of

the last time he took the mound at AT&T Park back in October

for the NL division series.

He liked the result this time around. He commanded his fastball

all night. His slider was clicking, too.

Chipper Jones hit a two-run double, Jason Heyward and Freddie

Freeman each singled in runs during a decisive four-run third

inning to back Hanson and the Atlanta Braves beat the San Francisco

Giants 4-1 on Friday night.

Hanson (2-3), who had a no-decision in Game 2 of the playoffs

against the Giants, struck out seven and walked one in seven strong

innings as the Braves won for just the second time in their last

six games.

”I’m not going to lie: It felt similar to the playoffs,”

Hanson said. ”I didn’t have the greatest playoff start here last

time. I wanted to go out and give us a chance to win.”

The Braves knocked Madison Bumgarner (0-3) out early and showed

no signs of fatigue following a 5-3, 12-inning loss at Los Angeles

on Thursday, taking the opener of a weekend series and rematch of

last fall’s NL division series won by the World Series champion


Bumgarner was the winning pitcher in the Game 4 division series

clincher at Turner Field as San Francisco advanced to face the

Phillies in the NLCS, becoming the youngest pitcher in franchise

history to win a postseason game at 21 years, 71 days. But he is

still looking for his first win of 2011 after four starts.

San Francisco returned home to AT&T Park for a quick

three-game homestand with the Braves during a stretch with 16 of 19

games on the road. Next up is a 10-game East Coast road trip

through Pittsburgh, Washington and New York.

Even with the Braves in town, there was hardly the hype that

came in the team’s first six-game homestand. That featured three

days of World Series celebrations, then three games with the rival

Los Angeles Dodgers – including a tribute to longtime fan Bryan

Stow, who was severely beaten outside Dodger Stadium after the

March 31 opener.

”Things have gotten back to normal,” Giants manager Bruce

Bochy said.

This time, there was no Bobby Cox standing atop the opposite

dugout. The longtime manager retired after last season and was

replaced by Fredi Gonzalez.

”I know Fredi well. He’s a friend,” Bochy said. ”It’s still

going to be strange for me to look over to that dugout and not see

Bobby. I’m really going to miss him.”

Every game in that NLDS between these clubs was decided by one

run. The Braves got to Bumgarner in a hurry in the third, with Nate

McLouth reaching on a leadoff walk and Martin Prado drawing a free

pass one out later to set up the RBIs by Heyward and Jones.

Heyward, runner-up in the Rookie of the Year voting last year to

Giants catcher Buster Posey, snapped an 0-for-14 funk with the


Giants shortstop Miguel Tejada committed a fielding error – just

the fourth all year by a Braves opponent – that kept the inning

going. That was after the 2002 AL MVP stole a hit from Alex

Gonzalez to end the second, facing the outfield as he ran the ball

down in shallow left before making a lunging, backhanded catch.

Tejada somersaulted after the play.

San Francisco outscored Colorado 14-4 in the first two games of

its series earlier this week at Coors Field before losing 10-2 on


But the Giants couldn’t muster much of anything against Hanson

until Pat Burrell’s RBI groundout in the seventh scored Pablo

Sandoval, who hit a one-out double. That was the third and final

hit allowed by Hanson.

”He didn’t miss on the plate very much,” Posey said. ”I

didn’t feel like I had too many good pitches to hit until the third

time through.”

Atlanta’s Jonny Venters tested his sore arm in a side session,

then relieved Hanson and pitched a perfect eighth. Craig Kimbrel

bounced back from his first blown save Thursday with a 1-2-3 ninth

for his fifth save in six chances.

”It’s a big game for us after losing yesterday to the

Dodgers,” Gonzalez said. ”This is a resilient group, it really


Sandoval, a late scratch Wednesday against the Rockies, received

treatment for his strained right triceps muscle during Thursday’s

off day and did some early hitting Friday. He was back in the

lineup at third base and batted fifth.

NLCS MVP Cody Ross went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in his home

debut after coming off the disabled list during the road trip. Fans

in the sellout crowd of 42,404 chanted ”Cody! Cody!” when he came

to the plate.

Notes: Atlanta is 6-1 in the first game of a series this year.

… Injured Giants CF Andres Torres likely will need more time for

his strained left Achilles’ tendon to heal. While he is eligible to

come off the disabled list Tuesday, Torres hasn’t yet run the

bases, sprinted at full speed to shagged flyballs. He did agility

work Thursday and said he will undergo another MRI exam in the

coming days. … San Francisco RHP reliever Santiago Casilla, on

the DL with an inflamed pitching elbow, had his first bullpen

session – making 20 pitches and all fastballs. ”I feel very

good,” Casilla said. ”I’m so happy today.” Casilla probably will

throw from a mound again Tuesday. … The Braves recalled RHP Cory

Gearrin from Triple-A Gwinnett to bolster their taxed bullpen and

optioned OF Matt Young to Gwinnett. … San Francisco has sold out

all seven of its home games.