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What we learned as Giants shut down by Braves' Fried in loss

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Max Fried

SAN FRANCISCO -- A homestand that started with so much promise -- and included some very memorable swings -- ended with the Giants once again holding the slimmest of leads in the National League West. 

The bats went silent on Sunday against Max Fried, one of the hottest pitchers in the National League, and the Giants lost 3-0 to the Braves, who prevented a sweep. The Giants went 4-3 on the homestand. They have a one-game lead over the Dodgers, who won in Cincinnati earlier in the day. 

This game didn't have much offense, but did include a bit of history. Eddie Rosario, who has been in plenty of Giants rumors over the last couple of years, became the first visiting player to hit for the cycle at Oracle Park since Eric Byrnes in 2003. Rosario saved the easiest leg for the end, poking a single into center field in the ninth to lock it up. Rosario and Byrnes are the only players to hit for the cycle at Oracle Park, which is surprising given the dimensions. 

The Giants now head out on the road for the final time until the postseason. They visit the reeling San Diego Padres on Tuesday, followed by another trip to Coors Field. 

Better Than It Looked 

The box score said Anthony DeSclafani gave up two earned in six innings, but that doesn't really tell the story of how well he pitched. DeSclafani did a heck of a job stranding runners in scoring position, including in the sixth when Kris Bryant couldn't snag a deep fly ball that turned into a one-out triple. 

 

DeSclafani's day turned in the seventh, and again came after some poor luck. Austin Riley hit a deep fly to Triple Alley that kept carrying and carrying, and Bryant came up short at the wall. Following the double, Adam Duvall jumped on an elevated two-strike slider and smashed a no-doubter to left-center. 

DeSclafani struck out six and walked none. He got a dozen swinging strikes, including eight on his slider. DeSclafani has allowed six earned in four September starts and looks like a strong No. 3 in a postseason rotation behind Kevin Gausman and Logan Webb. 

Fried Them Up

The Giants loaded it up with righties against Fried -- putting Darin Ruf, Austin Slater and Bryant in the outfield and starting Wilmer Flores over The Captain. Fried was not impressed.

The 27-year-old lefty entered the day with an MLB-leading nine consecutive quality starts and had no trouble extending that streak to double-digits. Fried allowed just three hits in seven shutout innings, becoming the fourth opposing starter to throw seven shutout at Oracle Park this season. The others: Walker Buehler, Kwang-Hyun Kim and Cole Irvin. 

The Giants did hold Fried down at the plate, though, as he struck out twice in three plate appearances. That's more notable than it sounds. He entered the day with 15 hits in 46 at-bats, a .326 average.

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Bryant The Streaking Giant

With a single to left in the fourth inning, Bryant reached base safely for the 18th consecutive game, his longest streak since he reached in 23 straight for the Cubs in June of 2019. 

Sunday's game was Bryant's 40th as a Giant. He's batting .284 with 11 doubles, seven homers and 16 RBI while moving all around the field (he has struggled a bit defensively, including in right field on Sunday). The Giants are 27-13 when Bryant plays.

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