Atlanta Braves

Giants drop San Francisco-record 11th straight game

Giants drop San Francisco-record 11th straight game

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SAN FRANCISCO — The latest loss came with some controversy. 

The Braves scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning when Brandon Belt was ruled to have inched off first base on what would have been the third out of the inning. Belt was adamant that he stayed on the bag and a replay appeared to show that he did, but after two minutes and four seconds of looking, the umpires in New York upheld the original call. 

The 2-1 loss to the Braves was the 11th in a row, the franchise's longest streak since 1951. The Giants are still looking for their first victory of September. It is as bad as it sounds. Anyway, here's what else happened Wednesday at AT&T Park ... 

—- Derek Holland has quietly been one of the best lefties in the National League. He gave up fewer than three runs for the sixth consecutive start, lowering his ERA to 3.46. That ranks 12th among qualified NL starters and third among lefties. Holland had a shutout going until the sixth, when Ozzie Albies doubled with one out and cruised home on Freddie Freeman’s bouncer up the middle. 

—- The Giants had a shot to hand a lead over to the bullpen in the sixth. Nick Hundley singled, took second on a grounder and third on a wild pitch. But Hunter Pence popped up to first, ending the inning. 

—- An inning later, they had one of their more creative failures. With a runner on first, Alen Hanson bunted and pitcher Jesse Biddle threw the ball down the right field line. But Hanson was out after the umpire ruled he attempted to advance to second, Belt struck out, and Brandon Crawford was robbed of the go-ahead single by Albies. 

—- Tony Watson had one of the best escape acts of the season in the top of the seventh. Reyes Moronta, pitching for the first time in eight days, loaded the bases with no outs. Watson entered and got Adam Duvall to pop up before striking out Ronald Acuña Jr. Albies grounded out to short and Watson walked off to a standing ovation.

Bruce Bochy meets with free-falling Giants ahead of 10th straight loss

Bruce Bochy meets with free-falling Giants ahead of 10th straight loss

SAN FRANCISCO — Bruce Bochy doesn’t like admitting that his team is out of the race no matter how many consecutive losses might pile up. He doesn’t like admitting that they’re playing poorly, and on three consecutive days he has talked about how many of the last 10 losses could have easily flipped the other way. 

But Bochy did make a concession to the reality of the situation on Tuesday afternoon. He met with his team, talking for about five minutes about the importance of playing hard and holding each other accountable. That is not a meeting you have when you’re trying to clinch a playoff spot. It’s the type of meeting you have when you’re losing every night and looking flat, as the Giants have while dropping 10 straight for the first time in 22 years. 

“This is a tough time of year when you’re going through something like this,” Bochy said after a 4-1 loss to the Braves. “It’s about character right now. You get in these tough times, it does build character.”

Bochy pointed out that there are only 16 games left, and while this season was long ago lost, the Giants are evaluating on a daily basis. It’s not just about hits or scoreless innings. He is looking for passion, effort, and fight. 

“This tells you a lot about players,” he said of the final three weeks. 

At the very least, the Giants have learned a bit more about two of their better ones. A night after Dereck Rodriguez took a brutal loss, Andrew Suarez gave up three runs over six innings against a tough lineup and had no chance of winning. He took the 11th loss of his rookie season, watching hard-throwing righty Mike Foltynewicz throw a 108-pitch complete game with relative ease against the coldest lineup in baseball. 

The Giants handed Foltynewicz his worst start of the season in May, but that was a different team. Andrew McCutchen hit second that day. Buster Posey hit third. Brandon Belt hit fourth, and on Tuesday he was limited to a pinch-hit appearance because of a knee that likely will require surgery. 

Without his stars, Bochy started five young players. The result was predictable, but the rookie pitcher took it in stride. 

“We really can’t do anything about that,” Suarez said of the lack of run support. “We’ve got to go out there and try to keep the game close.”

This is where Bochy has learned something. He is looking for character, and he sees it in Rodriguez and Suarez. On Monday night, Rodriguez asked to go out for the seventh inning despite a high pitch count. A night later, Suarez worked around plenty of traffic to try and keep his team in the game.

“They’re doing great,” Bochy said of the two, the pride clear in his voice. “They’re handling everything fine. Both of them are good kids, good competitors.”

Giants losing streak hits 10 games for first time since 1996

Giants losing streak hits 10 games for first time since 1996

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Braves have accelerated their rebuild this season, calling up a handful of rookies who aren’t old enough to drink or barely are. Those kids weren’t alive the last time the Giants had a skid like this. 

Mike Foltynewicz threw a 108-pitch complete game and the Giants lost 4-1 in a quick game with the Braves. It was their 10th straight loss, their longest streak since 1996. They still are looking for their first win in September. 

Foltynewicz, a hard-throwing right-hander, was all too happy to take advantage of the coldest team in baseball. He very nearly became the first MLB pitcher to throw a second shutout this season, but Brandon Crawford drove in Evan Longoria with two outs in the ninth. The game ended one batter later. Here's what else you need to know from this night... 

—- Charlie Culberson entered for the injured Johan Camargo in the third and homered two innings later. Culberson, the man traded for Marco Scutaro back in the day, has actually become a very good utility player for the Braves. The homer was his 11th and it gave the Braves a 3-0 lead. 

—- Alen Hanson drew a walk to lead off the seventh. It was just his ninth of the year, and his first since July 15. He got doubled off second on Austin Slater’s liner to first, ending the inning. 

—- On another team, Andrew Suarez would have had a shot to win this game. But six innings, three earned isn’t going to give you much hope with this Giants lineup. He took his 11th loss, and this was a tough one.  

—- Foltynewicz barely broke a sweat. He was at 61 pitches through six and just 90 through eight. After Gorkys Hernandez got an infield single — with the help of a broken bat — in the eighth, Foltynewicz got Aramis Garcia and Brandon Belt looking.