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Gausman pinch-hitting pitcher bag fly in 11th, sc leading the Braves


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Kevin Gausman heard the boos as he stepped into the batter’s box, realizing right away that fans had no idea the Giants were at their last options with no positional players.

So the pitcher that hit the pinch stood up and delivered, throwing a full-count, base-laden sacrifice volley in the 11th inning that sent San Francisco past the Atlanta Braves 6-5 on Friday night. to increase their NL West lead.

“Oh man, that was the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my entire career,” Gausman said. “When it was 3-2 and everyone stood up, it was probably one of the coolest times of my life. … Just crazy.”

The Giants, saved when Donovan Solano rolled off the COVID-19 injured list and connected for a tying home run with two strikeouts in the ninth, edged the Los Angeles Dodgers by two games in the divisional race.

Atlanta saw its NL East lead reduced to two games against Philadelphia.

The Giants were down to pitchers on the bench when Gausman, averaging 0.184 this season, struck for reliever Camilo Doval, who had never struck in his professional career.

“More than anything, I was trying not to look silly, just take good punches, hit punches,” recounted a dizzy Gausman. “Obviously, I never thought I would have found myself in this situation coming to the stadium today.”

Barely ridiculous. Not even close.

Braves manager Brian Snitker was caught off guard.

“Honestly I thought he would probably take that 3-2 shot so he didn’t widen the strike zone and maybe hit one over his head or something,” Snitker said. .

Instead, Gausman hit a shallow right-field flyball and Brandon Crawford beat the home pitch with a headfirst slip. Gausman’s teammates chest hit him and cheered near the opening goal a day after the right-hander suffered his first loss since July 30.

The pitcher noted “this is my first time shooting a ball in the big leagues, so I wasn’t sure how to gauge it” or whether he had done his job. Soon the celebration gave him its answer.

“I was shocked when I turned around and Craw was running,” he said. “… It was pretty cool. I think the fans enjoyed seeing a pitcher hitting him in the 11th inning. … I got booed when they said my name, I think they thought we had more people on the bench but we didn’t, we didn’t have anyone else.

Crawford started the last inning at second base and advanced on a savage pickup pitch from Jacob Webb (4-3), who then intentionally knocked Evan Longoria out. With a withdrawal, Solano was taken in to charge the bases.

“In fact, he takes his batting training seriously. It was just one hell of a strike at batting – pitcher, position player, he was a great batting, ”manager Gabe Kapler said of Gausman. “Had a game plan and was looking to get a shot in the air. Craw did a good jump and did a good slide.

Tyler Matzek struck out Crawford on a Grounder with two strikeouts in the 10th and goals loaded.

Doval (3-1) threw a perfect 11th place for the win.

Led 4-2, the Braves rallied in ninth when Travis d’Arnaud hit a three-run homer. Austin Riley and Adam Duvall hit back-to-back singles to start the set against Tyler Rogers and Arnaud connected one later.

Solano beat former Giants reliever Will Smith, who missed his sixth save.

Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer, Crawford also connected and LaMonte Wade Jr. had a splashy homerun for the Giants.

San Francisco starter Logan Webb struck out nine and failed to produce a scorer, allowing two runs on six hits. He was in a position to win his 10th straight decision since a May 5 loss at Colorado.

“This is what I have been waiting for all year. Of course I pitched today and Gaus got it, ”said Webb. “It was fun, it was really fun, it was awesome.”

The Braves had won six of the last seven in San Francisco, where they played for the first time since May 2019.

Atlanta’s last 10 losses have been two points or less.

CLEARING FENCES

The Giants have scored 12 straight games, a season-high, dating back to September 5 – 26 overall in that span – for their longest such streak in 13 straight games from June 25 to July 12, 2019.

Solano’s shot marked San Francisco’s 16th franchise record this season.

The Belt Homer also gave him a 10-game hitting streak.

TRAINERS ‘ROOM

Braves: Atlanta’s scheduled series final with Colorado on Thursday was a rainy one, giving the Braves a head start to travel across the country to the Bay Area. Snitker hoped that this would benefit everyone, but especially his enclosure. “It won’t be a bad thing to have this day off,” he said.

Giants: Lifter Jake McGee was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained rectus oblique muscle. … OF Mike Yastrzemski missed a third straight start after being hit with a right elbow pitch Tuesday against San Diego. … RHP Johnny Cueto (pitching elbow stretched) played a 90-foot catch in the hopes that he will kick off a live batting practice on September 27 or 28 and potentially pitch before it is over of the regular season. … OF Alex Dickerson (right hamstring strain) still needs a few minor league rehab sessions before he’s activated.

LIST MOVEMENT

The Giants recalled RHP Jay Jackson from Triple-A Sacramento and offered the INF Thairo Estrado in Sacramento.

FOLLOWING

LHP Alex Wood (10-4, 4.08) will kick off his first departure for San Francisco since August 26 on Saturday as he returns from a fight with COVID-19. He hopes to work deep into the game, saying “we’re just going to take it round by round and see how it goes.”

“Come back, get a few before the playoffs and get ready to play,” Wood said. “Just happy to be back and to be able to give us a chance to win. “

RHP Charlie Morton (13-5, 3.49) throws for the Braves looking for his first win against the Giants since August 20, 2015, with Pittsburgh.

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