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Braves score eight in fifth inning, avoid utter implosion to squeak past Giants

Atlanta clinched its third consecutive series win with a 12-11 victory over the Giants Thursday

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a rain delay that lasted one hour, 36 minutes and the teams combining for 23 runs on 31 hits, the game that was originally set to start at 7:35 p.m. ET Thursday night didn’t end until 12:39 a.m. Friday morning on the East Coast.

Fortunately for Atlanta fans who stayed up to watch, it proved to be worth the loss of sleep as the Braves collected 16 hits and clinched a four-game series win with with a 12-11 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

The Braves (34-38) are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have now won three consecutive series for the just the second time this season. The first came via a string of series wins against the Miami Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets in mid-May.

Not to be overshadowed by Atlanta’s offensive prowess, Jaime Garcia looked rocky for a second straight start. He gave up six runs on seven hits and struck out three while issuing three walks over 4 13 innings pitched - his shortest outing of the season. He’s now allowed six earned runs in consecutive starts after not allowing more than four through his first 12 starts of the season.

San Francisco’s Matt Cain pitched a fifth straight non-quality start as he exited without recording an out in the fifth inning after allowing seven runs on 10 hits and giving up three long balls.

Nick Markakis had an outstanding night at the plate as he went 4-for-5 with a home run and 3 RBIs. The Braves also received multi-hit games from Ender Inciarte (2-for-5), Matt Adams (2-for-5), Kurt Suzuki (2-for-4) and Dansby Swanson (2-for-4).

Atlanta entered the bottom of the fifth inning with a 6-4 deficit when the offense didn’t simply begin to warm up, it became engulfed in conflagration.

Brandon Phillips led things off with a solo shot to left field, pulling the Braves within a run. Cain then gave up back-to-back singles to Markakis and Matt Kemp before being pulled for relief pitcher Bryan Morris. Morris gave up a run-scoring single to Matt Adams to tie the game at 6-6. In the ensuing at-bat, Suzuki hit an RBI single of his own to put Atlanta up 7-6. Following a Swanson single to left, Johan Camargo flew out to left for the first out and allowed Adams to tag up and score.

Lane Adams came to the plate with one away and two runners on in a pinch-hit situation. The 27-year-old launched a mammoth three-run home run to the second deck above the bullpen in left field to give the Braves a commanding 11-6 lead.

After Inciarte flew out, Phillips drew a walk and Markakis singled to center to set up runners on the corners and chase Morris from the game. San Francisco relief pitcher Kyle Crick came on and surrendered a run-scoring single to Danny Santana to bring the Giants deficit to 12-6 in the bottom of the fifth.

San Francisco showed signs of life in the top of the eighth inning as a Brandon Belt home run, an RBI single from Hunter Pence and a run-scoring groundout from Buster Posey cut Atlanta’s lead to 12-9.

The Giants added on a pair in the top of the ninth to make Atlanta sweat it out, but the Braves managed to hold on and squeak out a victory.

Inciarte led off the bottom of the opening frame with a single to left field, his 94th hit of the season. Two batters later, Markakis connected on a 3-2 pitch and drove it into the Chop House in right to give the Braves a 2-0 lead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Posey led the second inning off with a solo home run to right. Later in the inning, Cain came to the plate with two outs and runners on the corners and proceeded to double off the wall to drive in a pair of runs and give San Francisco a 3-2 advantage.

The troubles continued for Garcia in the top of the third inning. After a 10-pitch duel, he issued a leadoff walk to Joe Panik. Two batters later, he gave up a ground-rule double to Posey that scored Panik and extended San Francisco’s lead to 4-2. Austin Slater followed suit with a double of his own, scoring Posey from second and putting the Giants up 5-2.

Atlanta got a run back in the bottom of the third as Inciarte singled and later scored on a Markakis line-drive single to left. Matt Adams led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run to right center, his 13th of the year and 12th as a member of the Braves.

Panik led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to center to extend San Francisco’s lead to 6-4.

The NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers (40-35) come to town Friday as Mike Foltynewicz is scheduled to face off against Jimmy Nelson in game one of the three-game set at 7:35 p.m. ET.

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