The Atlanta Braves were on a roll heading into Tuesday night's contest with the San Francisco Giants. Riding a seven-game winning streak and playing great baseball, the Braves looked to continue their winning ways. Barry Zito and the Giants, however, would have none of that.
Zito pitched seven shutout innings as the Giants claimed a 9-0 victory over the Braves in the series opener in Atlanta. Unfortunately for the Braves, Jair Jurrjens did not fare as well. Making his first start since the All-Star Break, Jurrjens gave up eight runs on eight hits and three walks in just 3 1/3 innings. He struck out only one batter.
“I didn’t have my command," Jurrjens said. "I was battling to get strike 1. They’re a good team, and I made a lot of bad pitches and they got hit…. That was a tough one. That’s a game for us to put behind us and be perfect tomorrow.”
Catcher Buster Posey was the key player for the Giants. He went 3-for-5 with two doubles and drove in five runs. Former Brave Melky Cabrera also legged out a hustle double and went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Recently promoted Luis Avilan had a strong performance out of the bullpen in relief of Jurrjens. He pitched 3 2/3 innings, while giving up only one run on five hits to go along with five strikeouts.
"On a good note I thought Avilan was terrific," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He gave us 3 2/3 innings of middle relief. That’s one of those games sometimes you’re thinking you’re going to use the whole bullpen just to get through. For a young man who hadn’t pitched but one-third inning in the major leagues I thought he did a terrific job getting us through those middle innings."
“We just played sloppy," Chipper Jones said. "Sloppy. That’s the word for today, sloppy. We were sloppy on the mound, we were sloppy in the field, we were sloppy at the plate. You’re going to have stinkers like this every once in a while. It’s disappointing, but you’ve got to flush it, come back out and be ready tomorrow.”
The Braves will look to rebound by sending Mike Minor (5-6, 5.97 ERA) to the mound against Ryan Vogelsong (7-4, 2.36 ERA) at 7:10 PM EDT.
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