ATLANTA (AP)Adam Duvall was targeted by his Atlanta teammates for the obligatory postgame dousing with a cooler full of sports drink following his game-winning hit.
Duvall said credit was also due to the Braves player who actually scored the winning run.
Duvall’s run-scoring single capped Atlanta’s three-run rally in the ninth as the Braves beat the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Wednesday night. It was Atlanta’s second walk-off win of the series.
Duvall’s single up the middle off Tyler Rogers drove in William Contreras, who was on second base following his tying hit and crucial stolen base. Contreras slid across home plate with the winning run as Austin Slater’s throw from center field was slightly up the third-base line.
”It’s obviously easier to score from second,” Duvall said. ”Having a runner in scoring position was huge in that moment. With that hit, he doesn’t score from first.”
It was a timely steal for Contreras, the rookie catcher better known for his power bat that has earned him a share of the playing time with Travis d’Arnaud.
The Giants wasted another strong start by Carlos Rodon, who allowed only three hits and one run in seven innings.
Jake McGee (1-2) blew a 3-1 lead, built on homers by Mike Yastrzemski and Darin Ruf, by allowing three runs in the ninth. McGee was brought in to close out the lead because Camilo Doval had pitched back-to-back games.
Dansby Swanson led off the ninth with a homer off McGee to cut San Francisco’s lead to one run. Marcell Ozuna followed with a single to right field and moved to second on Matt Olson’s fly ball to deep center field.
Contreras added a single to left field to drive in Ozuna for a 3-3 tie. Right-hander Tyler Rogers struck out Orlando Arcia as Contreras stole second base. The steal proved to be crucial when Duval followed with the game-ending single.
”It turned out to be one of the bigger plays of the game,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of the steal.
Rodon was dominant in his first career appearance against Atlanta, allowing one run with 10 strikeouts and one walk.
Rodon outpitched Charlie Morton, who allowed two runs on three hits with 11 strikeouts in seven innings.
”Charlie is starting to get in his groove,” Snitker said.
Rodon’s bid for his third consecutive start without allowing a run ended in the seventh. He has allowed only a combined seven hits and one run over 21 innings while winning three consecutive starts.
Ozuna singled to open the inning for Atlanta’s second hit. Ozuna scored on Olson’s double to the center field wall. Olson’s hit, which trimmed San Francisco’s lead to 2-1, ended Rodon’s string of 21 consecutive scoreless innings.
The 29-year-old Rodon gave up a second-inning walk to Contreras, but allowed no other baserunners before Arcia’s bloop single to center field with one out in the fifth gave the Braves their first hit.
Tommy La Stella’s run-scoring single off A.J. Minter (3-1) in the ninth drove in Ruf to add to the Giants’ lead.
Morton recorded his 21st career game with double-digit strikeouts and second of the season. He recorded 12 strikeouts, but received a no-decision in a 10-4 win over Pittsburgh on June 11.
Morton’s 40 strikeouts in June, including nine or more in three consecutive starts, leads the major leagues.
The close game was nothing new for the Giants. Each of the first six games of their seven-game road trip has been decided by no more than two runs.
Overall, the Giants are 17-19 in 36 games decided by no more than two runs.
Giants: SS Brandon Crawford (left knee contusion) did not start but tests Wednesday showed no structural damage after he banged his knee on a slide at home plate Tuesday night. ”There is some optimism he can start (Thursday),” said manager Gabe Kapler, who said Crawford was feeling better. … RF Luis Gonzalez was held out with tightness in his lower back. Gonzalez was in Kapler’s original lineup before Gonzalez said his back felt ”a little tight” according to Kapler. The manager said he doesn’t believe the injury is reason for ”long-term concerns.”
Braves: 3B Austin Riley did not start after manager Brian Snitker said ”he got banged up a little” in Tuesday night’s game. Riley struck out in the eighth as a pinch-hitter and remained in the game. … OF Eddie Rosario (blurred vision, swollen right retina) and LHP Tyler Matzek (left shoulder inflammation) are moving closer to rehabilitation assignments. A decision on Matzek come come after he is checked by the medical staff on Thursday after throwing on the side on Wednesday.
Braves RHP Kyle Wright (7-4, 2.94 ERA) will make his first career start against San Francisco when he faces Giants LHP Alex Wood (5-5, 4.32) as the four-game series concludes on Thursday. Wood began his career with Atlanta and is 3-3 with a 3.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Braves.
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