Giants avoid sweep with Joc Pederson’s bases-loaded walk in 9th

Aug 20, 2023, 5:29 PM

Luis Matos #29 of the San Francisco Giants watches his solo home run during the first inning agains...

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 20: Luis Matos #29 of the San Francisco Giants watches his solo home run during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on August 20, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants showed some resiliency that has been missing lately on the road.

After the Giants allowed the tying run to score on an error in the eighth inning, pinch-hitter Joc Pederson’s bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning forced in Michael Conforto and gave San Francisco a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we’ll take it,” said Giants manager Gabe Kapler. “That is a good road win against a very good team.”

Luis Matos and Wilmer Flores hit home runs for the Giants, who took advantage of Kirby Yates’ control problems in the ninth to win for just the second time in 14 road games. The Braves had a seven-game home winning streak snapped.

Camilo Doval (5-3) picked up the win and was part of a bullpen effort that pitched the final 7 1/3 innings after starter Jakob Junis left in the second inning. The relievers did not allow an earned run against the Braves, who lead the majors in runs scored.

Yates (7-1) walked two and hit two batters in the ninth inning.

Braves starter Max Fried gave up three runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. He threw 103 pitches in his fourth start after missing three months with a left forearm strain.

Flores and Matos each had two hits, while Thairo Estrada was 2 for 4 and was hit by a pitch.

The Braves tied the game at 3 in the eighth inning when Ronald Acuña Jr. stole third and scored on catcher Patrick Bailey’s throwing error. It was the third unearned run allowed by Giants pitching.

“We had a chance to win it right there, but the throw got away from him a little bit and then we had to show some resilience and score again to win the game,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.

Tristan Beck, who threw three scoreless innings for the Giants, said his teammates held together after they lost the lead.

“We did a great job of keeping our composure and we had some long at-bats in the ninth inning,” he said. “We’re super excited about the win.”

Fried wiggled out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first inning by striking out J.D. Davis and getting Heliot Ramos to ground to second.

Matos then gave the Giants a 1-0 lead in the second with a leadoff home run into the Giants’ bullpen in left. The rookie had been activated only hours before the game.

The Braves answered in the second with a two-run homer by Orlando Arcia, his 14th.

Flores’ two-run shot down the left field line in the third after Estrada doubled was his 17th of the season.

Mending the mound

After Beck’s first pitch of the fourth inning, the game was delayed about six minutes as the five members of the Braves grounds crew repaired the pitcher’s mound. Beck appeared to get his left landing foot caught in a hole in front of the mound. Fried also appeared bothered on a pitch in the previous inning.

The grounds crew was thorough in its repair of both the landing area and the pitching rubber.

“After they made it all spotless and pretty, Tristan kicked it up a bit and started digging,” Kapler said. “It was a light moment in an otherwise tense game.”

Beck was given three warm-up pitches after the mound was repaired before the game resumed.

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