After much back and forth play, the Atlanta Braves used a game-winning two-RBI single in the top of the ninth inning by rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman to defeat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Monday night at Turner Field in Atlanta.
Braves veteran Tim Hudson got the start on the mound for Atlanta and pitched eight innings, allowing four runs on five hits and striking out two. Reliever Cristhian Martinez picked up his first career win after pitching a hitless ninth inning of baseball.
Brian McCann began the scoring for the Braves when he hit a solo home run, his 19th of the season, in the first inning to give Atlanta an early 1-0 lead. The Braves increased their lead to 2-0 after rookie Jose Constanza hit an RBI-single to drive in Freeman in the second inning of play.
The lead didn't last long as the Giants used back-to-back sacrifice flies in the fourth inning to tie the game at 2-2. San Francisco began the inning by loading the bases as Aubrey Huff reached on an error by center fielder Michael Bourn, Nate Shierholtz drew a walk and Brandon Belt was hit by a pitch before Orlando Cabrera and Eli Whiteside used two fly balls to even the score.
The Giants gained the lead after a solo home run in the sixth inning by Shierholtz and solo home run in the eighth by Mike Fontenot gave them a 4-2 lead heading into the final inning.
To begin the ninth inning, Constanza reached first after an infield single and Eric Hinske drew a walk to put two on with no outs. After manager Freddie Gonzalez inserted Julio Lugo in the game as a pinch runner for Hinske, Bourn laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to third base to advance Constanza and Lugo into scoring position. With two on and one out, Martin Prado brought the Braves within one with an RBI-single to drive in Constanza from third and advance Lugo. McCann followed with a walk to load the bases before Dan Uggla struck out swinging. With the bases loaded and the Braves down their final out, Freeman lined a single to center field, driving in both Lugo and Prado to give Atlanta a one-run victory at home.
Freeman finished the game 2-for-5 with one run scored and two RBI, while Constanza was a perfect 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Braves and Giants will be in action once again tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. as San Francisco's Jonathan Sanchez (4-7. 4.29 ERA) takes the mound against Braves rookie Randall Delgado (0-1, 6.75 ERA) at Turner Field.
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