After a satisfying win on Monday in what felt like a playoff game, the Braves were searching for their second straight win against the Giants on Tuesday behind Spencer Strider.
Each team managed one baserunner, but no runs in the first inning but the Giants put together the first real danger of the game in the second, as a broken bat bloop single, a line drive single, a 0-2 hit batsman, a sac fly, and a homer scored four runs before Strider was able to end the inning. Travis d’Arnaud sparked some Atlanta danger with a broken bat single of his own, and Marcell Ozuna followed him up with a moonshot two-run homer to cut the deficit in half.
Strider worked a quick 1-2-3 inning in the third, although with two hard hit groundouts. Dansby and Austin reached on admittedly some BABIP luck for two consecutive one out singles before Matt Olson absolutely mashed a homer to bring them home and give the Braves a 5-4 lead.
A hard hit single, a bloop single, and a moderately well-hit double tied the game for San Francisco in the top of the fourth. A sac fly to Michael Harris had Brandon Crawford tagging from third and a fantastic throw from Harris that was apparently 100 MPH resulted in a close play at the plate and a nasty collision. Crawford was called out on the field and was left the game with what was later reported as a knee contusion, but the Giants challenged and the play was rightfully overturned. That marked the end of Strider’s outing and while the Giants did get some BABIP luck and just had some good pieces of hitting on some good pitches, it was not Spencer’s best outing. Dylan Lee got the call and got a flyout to end the inning.
Michael Harris was hit by a pitch on his back foot with two outs in the bottom fourth and Ronald Acuna launched a two-run homer to give the Braves the lead back and did the Ice Trae celebration after admiring it. Dylan Lee stayed in the game for the fifth and worked around a weird softly hit single with a lot of spin with two outs for a scoreless inning. After the Braves went down in order in the bottom of the fifth, Dylan Lee got the first out of the sixth before giving way to Darren O’Day, who gave up two cheap soft singles before walking a batter to load the bases, at which point Snitker brought in Collin McHugh. McHugh allowed a two-run double that was nearly a three run double if it weren’t for a nice relay from Acuna to Swanson to d’Arnaud and a nice tag by d’Arnaud. McHugh struck out Evan Longoria to end the inning with a one run deficit.
The Atlanta offense had another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the sixth and Joc Pederson led off the seventh with a home run because of course. McHugh went on to strike out the next three batters. Ronald Acuna singled with one out and took third as he was already stealing and the Giants’ catcher whiffed on ball four to Austin Riley. Matt Olson hit the first pitch he saw on the ground to shortstop who tossed it to second, where Thairo Astrada whiffed on the ball, allowing Acuna to score and leaving men on first and second for d’Arnaud. Astrada did make a nice play to throw out d’Arnaud for out three on a ball that bounced over the pitcher, but the Giants were clinging to a one run lead. Jackson Stephens worked a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the eighth on two groundouts and a flyout.
Orlando Arcia reached with two outs on a grounder that drew Brandon Belt off the bag and the pitcher failed to tag first base. Michael Harris singled on an opposite field grounder to bring up Acuna with the tying run on second, but Acuna grounded out on the first pitch, sending the game to the ninth with the Braves still losing 9-8. Stephens came back out for the ninth and walked the leadoff hitter before inducing a ground ball to Austin Riley that Austin kicked into the Giants dugout on a diving attempt, advancing the runners to second and third. The Braves then opted to intentionally walk Joc Pederson, loading the bases with no outs. Stephens struck out Brandon Belt for the first out, introducing the possibility of a double play to end the inning and got a ground ball, but it was just past a diving Dansby to score an important run and leave the bases loaded. Stephens then struck out Tommy La Stella for the second out. Wilmer Flores hit a two RBI single to essentially put the game out of reach for Atlanta, but was thrown out at second by Acuna to end the inning.
Dansby led off the ninth with a line drive single before Austin Riley popped out, but Matt Olson hit his second home run of the night, bringing the Braves within two. D’Arnaud flew out for the second out and Ozuna struck out to end what was an absolute slugfest.