What we learned as Giants’ comeback vs. Braves falls short originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants got walked off twice in the first three games of this series, but even the win on Tuesday night came with some heartburn. The lineup reached base 19 times, but the Giants had to hold on for what ended up being a 12-10 win.
Thursday’s game was a similar story, with the Giants reaching base 18 times. This time, they couldn’t pull it out, losing 7-6 to the Braves.
The Giants had 14 hits but had to play catch up the entire afternoon because of a couple significant issues early in the game. Alex Wood was charged with six earned runs, and as he was struggling, the lineup hit into four double plays in the first four innings.
The Giants ended up dropping three of four in Atlanta, all by one run. They went 3-4 on the road trip.
Wood was drafted by the Braves and spent his first three big league seasons there. He went to the University of Georgia, and he and his wife just built their dream house in the Atlanta area. Wood had been 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in three previous starts at Truist Field, but Thursday’s outing was a nightmare.
Wood allowed four hits, walked two and hit two before being lifted with nobody out in the second inning. The start was the second shortest of his career and the shortest for performance reasons. On July 9, 2015, Wood lasted just two pitches at Coors Field, but that was because of an injury.
Wood has struggled to get going this year and took a 4.32 ERA into the game. That number is now at 5.05 after his worst start of the season.
Even with Wood getting charged with six runs in the first two innings, the Giants might have taken a lead into the late innings had it not been for a string of double plays. They hit into a season-high four of them and none were flukey.
Against Kyle Wright, who piled up ground balls, four different Giants killed rallies. Evan Longoria had one in the first and that was followed by Austin Slater, Darin Ruf and Thairo Estrada. That was a bit of a surprise for a lineup that entered the day in the bottom half of the majors in double plays and was averaging less than one per game.
Austin Slater doesn’t generally start against right-handed pitching, but with Luis González (lower back strain) going on the IL in the morning, Slater got the nod against Wright and made a big impact.
The Giants trailed 7-1 heading into the fifth, but Slater gave them a jolt by going the other way on an elevated fastball and hitting a solo shot just over the right field wall. The homer landed on top of the wall near the right field pole and then dropped back onto the field of play when a fan couldn’t haul it in.
Slater now has five homers, including two against righties. It’s a small sample, but he actually has hit righties better than lefties this season. He faced a former teammate, lefty Will Smith, in the eighth and got the Giants a run closer with an RBI single off the right field wall.