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San Francisco Giants Outlast Atlanta Braves in Extra Innings

July 19th, 2012 at 8:28 AM
By Cody Fields

The Atlanta Braves endured one of their ugliest games of the year on Tuesday, but their 9-4, 11-inning loss to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday at Turner Field is just as stinging. Chad Durbin gave up two separate three-run homers in a six-run 11th inning.

After already giving up two runs in the 10th, Anthony Varvaro plunked Eli Whiteside and walked Brandon Belt before getting pulled for Durbin. One pitch after Brandon Crawford fell to the ground after fouling a pitch off his knee, he deposited a three-run homer over the center field wall.

Durbin had given just one homer in his last 30 appearances (22 1/3 innings), but after Chipper Jones made his second error of the game and Melky Cabrera was intentionally walked, Durbin gave up another homer to former Brave Gregor Blanco.

Already one of the fans' least favorite Braves of recent memory, Cabrera's reaction to Blanco's homer was classified as distasteful. The Melkman also posed and trotted slowly around the bases after a sixth inning home run of Mike MInor and even taunted Jason Heyward to try to move up to third on a flyball to left in the bottom of the inning.

Eric O'Flaherty brushed back Cabrera in the eighth inning, much to the delight of the Atlanta faithful; the crowd cheered even louder when he dropped a flyball in the bottom of the eighth.

"That's Melky and that's why he is not here anymore," Jones said of the man who, when he played for Atlanta, was about 20 pounds heavier and hitting about 100 points lower. "He got a little happy when I think Blanco hit the home run. It won't be forgotten."

Though Brian McCann tied the game with a two-run homer in the 10th, that in itself had to negate the damage incurred by Varvaro in the top of the 10th. Joaquin Arias hit a triple to right-center that Heyward couldn't corral. After walking Crawford to set up a double play with one out, Justin Christian hit a dribbler up the third base line. Already playing on a sore right knee and without the time to wind up and throw overhand, Jones attempted to flip the ball underhand to McCann at the plate, but he put too much on it and sent it to the screen. Cabrera would follow with an RBI-single that would be an important insurance run.

The loss wasted a pristine effort by Minor, who struck out seven and gave up one run on three hits through six innings. He held the Giants hitless through four, and the only damage he incurred was from the solo shot by Cabrera. The only run-support he got, however, was from a Juan Francisco solo homer in the third off Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong, who held the Braves to a single run over his own six innings.

The Braves had a prime opportunity in the fourth when Heyward singled and McCann walked, but Dan Uggla struck out for one of his four on the day. He has hit .111 (12-for-108) in his last 33 games.

In a bright spot in the Braves' second straight loss after seven straight wins, Chipper's homer in the 11th tied him with George Brett for the all-time lead for RBIs by a third baseman.

Tags: Anthony Varvaro, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Brian McCann, Chad Durbin, Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla, Gregor Blanco, Juan Francisco, Melky Cabrera, Mike Minor, MLB, Ryan Vogelsong

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