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Newcomber: Rookie sensation breaking out

Lefty allows just one run on three hits in six innings vs. Giants
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ATLANTA -- Sean Newcomb has legitimized his place in Atlanta's rotation, as he has been both efficient and effective during each of his first three big league starts. But the Braves heralded prospect's bid for his first Major League win evaporated after he was limited to six innings during Wednesday night's 5-3, 11-inning win over the Giants at SunTrust Park.

Newcomb retired the final 13 batters he faced and allowed just one run while throwing 80 pitches. But even though he was impressed by the rookie southpaw's effort, Braves manager Brian Snitker did not feel comfortable sending him back out for the seventh inning to face three straight right-handed hitters -- Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Austin Slater.

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ATLANTA -- Sean Newcomb has legitimized his place in Atlanta's rotation, as he has been both efficient and effective during each of his first three big league starts. But the Braves heralded prospect's bid for his first Major League win evaporated after he was limited to six innings during Wednesday night's 5-3, 11-inning win over the Giants at SunTrust Park.

Newcomb retired the final 13 batters he faced and allowed just one run while throwing 80 pitches. But even though he was impressed by the rookie southpaw's effort, Braves manager Brian Snitker did not feel comfortable sending him back out for the seventh inning to face three straight right-handed hitters -- Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Austin Slater.

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"Probably next time he'll go back out [for another inning]," Snitker said. "I just thought he had done his job and who he was fixing to face the third time around the order, I just didn't have a real good feeling in my gut right there."

Snitker certainly wasn't feeling good when Newcomb's chance to win disintegrated when Pence hit a game-tying home run off Jim Johnson during the ninth inning. But the young lefty's effort was preserved when Matt Kemp drilled a two-run, game-ending home run off former Atlanta reliever Cory Gearrin.

Video: SF@ATL: Kemp crushes walk-off two-run homer to right

"I understood [Snitker's decision]," Newcomb said. "There were some righties coming up I had already seen two times. So, get some righties out of the pen to work those innings. That made sense."

Newcomb has strengthened the potential longevity of his big league stay, as he has completed at least six innings during each of his first three starts and allowed just four earned runs over 18 1/3 innings. Even when he stood as one of MLBPipeline's top 20 overall prospects last year, there were concerns about the high walk rates that plagued him in the Minors. But three of the seven walks he has issued were confined to his sixth and final inning against the Marlins on Friday.

Video: SF@ATL: Newcomb fans Tomlinson in the 1st

"He's got a good idea about how to get it to the different quadrants you need to get it to," Braves catcher Tyler Flowers said.

As the Braves ponder what to do with Bartolo Colon while he remains on the disabled list, they certainly don't have any desire to even think about toying with the current status of Newcomb, who surrendered a Brandon Belt RBI triple during Wednesday's second inning and then quickly found an efficient groove. He totaled just 37 pitches over his final four innings.

"He was good again," Snitker said. "You've got to like what you see from that kid. He's competing. It's great to see. I just wish we could have gotten him that first win."

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

Atlanta Braves, Sean Newcomb