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Vintage Dickey backed by big inning vs. Giants

MLB.com

ATLANTA -- R.A. Dickey quickly distanced himself from his worst start of the season and extended the Giants' offensive woes as he helped the Braves take another step toward evening their record with a 9-0 win Monday night at SunTrust Park.

While claiming their third straight win and moving within five games of a .500 record (32-37), the Braves received seven brilliant innings from Dickey, who allowed eight runs to the Nationals in five innings last week. The Braves knuckleballer retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced and 21 of 24 after allowing consecutive hits to begin the first inning.

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ATLANTA -- R.A. Dickey quickly distanced himself from his worst start of the season and extended the Giants' offensive woes as he helped the Braves take another step toward evening their record with a 9-0 win Monday night at SunTrust Park.

While claiming their third straight win and moving within five games of a .500 record (32-37), the Braves received seven brilliant innings from Dickey, who allowed eight runs to the Nationals in five innings last week. The Braves knuckleballer retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced and 21 of 24 after allowing consecutive hits to begin the first inning.

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"He had seven good innings," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "[The knuckleball] was coming out consistent, especially after the first inning, when it looked like it could have gone either way. He seemed to have a feel for it the whole night."

Johnny Cueto scattered five hits and allowed just two runs while completing seven innings for the first time in more than a month. But Ender Inciarte's RBI double in the third inning proved to be enough against the Giants, who have tallied two runs or fewer four times during their seven-game losing streak.

Video: SF@ATL: Inciarte scores Camargo from first on double

"It's sad that we lost the way we lost," Cueto said through an interpreter. "Everything was working fine, and I was working the way I wanted to. You saw Johnny Cueto pitching today."

Video: SF@ATL: Cueto makes a nice tumbling stop for the out

Film work helps Cueto vs. Braves

The Braves produced a seven-run eighth inning that included a two-run single from Dansby Swanson and a Danny Santana three-run homer that landed in the second level of the Chop House. Santana's pinch-hit home run traveled a projected 417 feet, per Statcast™, making it the second-longest homer he has hit since the start of the 2015 season. He hit a 437-foot shot on May 4, the day before the Twins designated him for assignment.

Video: SF@ATL: Santana goes yard to cap seven-run 8th

"I have confidence in my ability, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised it happened," Santana said through an interpreter.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Big Country drills another: Cueto has generated one of the best whiff rates with his changeup this year, but the off-speed pitch has also occasionally spelled trouble. The latest such instance occurred in the fourth inning, when Matt Adams drilled a 0-1 changeup over the right-field wall and into the Chop House. The solo shot traveled a projected 402 feet, per Statcast™, making it the longest of the six home runs he has hit at SunTrust Park this season. He has 10 homers through his first 111 at-bats with the Braves.

Video: SF@ATL: Adams mashes a solo homer to right field

Adams continues providing Freeman-like production

Early threat denied: After Denard Span (double) and Eduardo Nunez opened the game with consecutive hits to put runners at the corners, Dickey navigated his way through the middle of the Giants' order without incurring any damage. He sandwiched a Buster Posey strikeout between popups produced by Brandon Crawford and Hunter Pence.

Video: SF@ATL: Dickey escapes the 1st inning unharmed

"We couldn't have started the game better than what we did with first and third and nobody out," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We had our guys up there, and we couldn't get a run in. It was downhill from there."

QUOTABLE
"I wouldn't say that I specifically like pitching against him. I do know he is a very smart hitter, and he studies the game very well and makes me want to pitch against those type of batters."
--Cueto, on facing former teammate Brandon Phillips

"I was glad it was Cueto, because he was pitching when they put it on me there. He's so frustrating. I gave their team some quick pitches tonight and some things that he does, too. I've been working on that because I think they can be bullets in my gun throughout the year. It was fun with that guy to have some gamesmanship. It makes it entertaining."
-- Dickey, who allowed seven runs (six earned) over six innings in San Francisco on May 28

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Adams needed 109 at-bats to record his 10th homer with the Braves this season. The man he is currently replacing at first base, Freddie Freeman, recorded his 10th homer in his 88th at-bat of the season.

REPLAY REVIEW
The Giants challenged an out call in the second inning, as first baseman Brandon Belt slid into second base trying to stretch a single into a double. The call was ruled to stand, as replay showed no conclusive evidence to overturn the decision.

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: Lefty Matt Moore takes the mound when this four-game set resumes Tuesday at 4:35 p.m. PT. Moore owns a 9.24 ERA on the road this season, and the Giants have lost his last five starts.

Braves: Julio Teheran attempts to extend his recent success at SunTrust Park when the Braves host the Giants at 7:35 p.m. ET. Teheran posted a 10.50 ERA through his first five home starts but has allowed just one earned run over his past 12 innings in Atlanta.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta and covered the Giants on Monday.