Giants score 6 runs in 11th to beat Braves
ATLANTA (AP) — An 11th-inning homer and a milestone RBI were mere afterthoughts for Chipper Jones on a frustrating night.
Brian McCann’s two-run homer with two outs in the 10th kept the Braves alive before the San Francisco Giants answered with two three-run homers in the 11th to beat Atlanta 9-4 on Wednesday.
Jones homered off Brad Penny in the 11th. The homer, Jones’ eighth, gave him 1,596 career RBIs, matching George Brett’s record for third basemen. But Jones had two throwing errors before the homer.
Asked if the landmark was bittersweet, Jones said “Bitter.”
Added Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez: “It’s just a tough day.”
Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco hit three-run homers in the 11th for the Giants.
Crawford’s homer came after he fouled a pitch from Chad Durbin off his knee. Manager Bruce Bochy rushed to Crawford’s side and had reason to be concerned because the Giants had no available position players.
“I was close to telling him that because we were out of players,” Bochy said.
No need. Crawford already knew the situation.
“I was thinking about it a little bit when I was on the ground,” Crawford said.
Crawford said the pain went away quickly — especially after the homer, only his second of the season and his first since April 12.
“It’s been a while since I hit a homer,” Crawford said. “It felt pretty good.”
The NL West-leading Giants have won five straight, including the first two games of the series.
Anthony Varvaro (1-1) hit Eli Whiteside with a pitch to open the 11th before walking Brandon Belt. Durbin replaced Varvaro and struck out Joaquin Arias.
The left-handed hitting Crawford pulled a cutter from Durbin into the seats in right.
“I tried to run it in there closer to him instead of leaving it on the plate and it didn’t quite get there,” Durbin said. “It just wasn’t in enough.”
The inning continued as Jones’ second throwing error of the game allowed Justin Christian to reach base. With two outs, Durbin issued an intentional walk to Melky Cabrera before giving up Blanco’s homer, also to right field, pushing the Giants’ lead to 9-3.
Cabrera homered in the sixth and had a run-scoring single in the Giants’ two-run 10th inning to give San Francisco a 3-1 lead.
The Giants were one out from the win when McCann tied it with the homer off Santiago Casilla (3-4) in the bottom of the 10th. It was Casilla’s sixth blown save in 29 opportunities.
Bochy said he will talk with pitching coach Dave Righetti and Casilla before deciding if he will change closers.
“He was too good tonight to do that,” Bochy said of Casilla.
“We may have to change it up a little bit, but I don’t want him to lose his confidence.”
Jones did not start due to pain in his right knee. His first error helped the Giants in the 10th.
Arias hit a one-out triple off Varvaro, who then issued an intentional walk to Crawford. Christian hit a soft grounder to third base which Jones fielded while running toward the plate. Jones tried to make an underhand toss to McCann at the plate but threw the ball high, allowing Arias to score. Crawford raced to third on the error.
“Takes too much time to overhand it,” Jones said. “It’s one of those do or die plays. It turned out to be costly.”
Varvaro walked Ryan Theriot, loading the bases, before Cabrera’s bloop single drove in Crawford.
Giants catcher Buster Posey had three hits for the second straight game.
Juan Francisco’s homer in the third gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead. Cabrera tied the game with his ninth homer in the sixth.
San Francisco’s Ryan Vogelsong and Atlanta’s Mike Minor both lasted six innings and posted almost identical pitching lines.
Vogelsong gave up four hits and one run with two walks and seven strikeouts. Minor gave up three hits and one run with two walks and seven strikeouts.
The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 16 minutes by rain.
NOTES: The Giants placed C Hector Sanchez on the 15-day DL with a sprained left knee following an MRI on Wednesday. Whiteside was recalled from Triple-A Fresno and took over for Posey in the ninth. … McCann’s homer was the 150th of his career. … LHP Jonny Venters (sore left elbow) may start a short rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday. The Braves want Venters to make at least two appearances with Gwinnett before he comes off the 15-day DL. … The series ends Thursday with Braves RHP Tim Hudson facing Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner.