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Braves drop series finale to Giants 8-5

McHugh’s tough night costly in Braves loss

MLB: Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves saw their four-game winning streak come to an end Sunday night with an 8-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Jared Shuster got the start for Atlanta and a leadoff walk to Austin Slater put him in some early trouble. Slater moved to second as Thairo Estrada bounced back to the mound and then to third on a ground out by Wilmer Flores. J.D. Davis brought him home with a single to right to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.

San Francisco struck again in the second as Casey Schmitt hit a solo homer to make it 2-0.

Tristan Beck made his first career start and mowed through the Braves lineup early retiring the first 12 hitters he faced. However, a leadoff walk to Matt Olson finally helped get the Braves offense going. Olson was erased on a ground out by Marcell Ozuna for the first out. Eddie Rosario then doubled off the wall in center to put runners at second and third. Travis d’Arnaud then delivered a single to right that scored both runners to tie the game.

Orlando Arcia followed with a single of his own and that would be the end of the line for Beck. Nicky Lopez greeted Scott Alexander with a single to left that scored d’Arnaud to put the Braves in front 3-2.

Atlanta almost had another run when Ronald Acuña Jr. grounded to Davis at first, who tossed to Alexander who then tossed to second baseman Estrada covering first who was just in time to get the out. Arcia kept right on running and was originally ruled safe at the plate. However, the Giants challenged and the call was overturned.

Shuster found himself in trouble again as Luis Matos doubled with one out. Matos moved to third on a single by Slater. Shuster then struck out Estrada for the second out and was replaced by Collin McHugh.

McHugh had a good outing his last time out, but this one would go south in a hurry. He walked Flores to load the bases and then lost Davis to force home the tying run. With the bases still loaded, Patrick Bailey sent a sharp grounder that just bounced over Olson’s glove at first and headed to the corner for a bases clearing double to put the Giants in front 6-3. McHugh stuck out Paul DeJong to finally end the inning.

Shuster wasn’t spectacular, but was able to keep the Braves in the game. He allowed four hits, two walks and four runs over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three while throwing 83 pitches.

As they have done so many times this season, Atlanta answered back quickly in the sixth. Olson doubled with two outs and then came around to score on a two-run home run by Ozuna to cut the deficit back to 6-5.

McHugh stayed in for the sixth and a leadoff walk once again led to a big inning. Wade Meckler walked and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Casey Schmitt. Joc Pederson then came out to pinch hit, but the Braves opted to walk him intentionally. Slater followed with a single to center that scored Meckler to push the lead back to 7-5. Estrada then dropped a bunt down the first base line that McHugh fielded, but had no play. Pederson scored to make it 8-5.

Michael Tonkin retired the side in order in the seventh and then struck out Schmitt to start the eighth. He was then replaced by Brad Hand, who allowed a single to Pederson before retiring the next two hitters to keep the margin at three.

However, the Braves went down in order against Camilo Doval in the ninth to end the game.

The loss drops the Braves to 84-45 on the season. Atlanta will now head to Colorado where they will begin a three-game series agains the Rockies on Monday.

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