ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman hit his third career walk-off homer to complete a comeback that provided the Braves a 5-4, 11-inning win over the Giants on Wednesday night at Turner Field. Freeman hit the first pitch Derek Law threw in the bottom of the inning over the right-center field wall."This
ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman hit his third career walk-off homer to complete a comeback that provided the Braves a 5-4, 11-inning win over the Giants on Wednesday night at Turner Field. Freeman hit the first pitch Derek Law threw in the bottom of the inning over the right-center field wall.
"This team never gives up," Freeman said. "That's the name of the game. You've got to keep grinding at-bats and that's what we did tonight."
• Freeman, Braves hope walk-off HR is spark
Giants right-hander Albert Suarez pitched effectively in his first Major League start, allowing three runs over five innings. Suarez, who started in place of the injured Matt Cain, also notched his first career hit -- a sixth-inning infield single that would have served as the game-winning hit had the Braves not taken advantage of some miscues that allowed them to erase a one-run ninth-inning deficit.
Brandon Belt gave the Giants an early lead with a two-run homer in the fourth inning and the Giants capitalized on some defensive mistakes that influenced the other two runs Williams Perez surrendered over 5 2/3 innings. Perez was taken off the hook when San Francisco closer Santiago Casilla hit Adonis Garcia with a pitch and then allowed Garcia to score on a wild pitch following Nick Markakis' bloop single.
"That was an ugly run -- hit a batter, bloop, wild pitch -- that's a tough way to give up the lead," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We just couldn't put it away. We had a couple of chances to get a little bigger [lead]. Still, you like your chances. We had it set up with Casilla out there. They just fought back. Give them credit. It happens."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Pence hurt again: Giants right fielder Hunter Pence reinjured his right hamstring as he tried to beat out a fourth-inning grounder. Pence returned to San Francisco's lineup last Friday at Colorado after injuring the same hamstring kept him out of the lineup for six consecutive games.
Pence is scheduled to undergo an MRI early Thursday morning. He answered multiple questions about his physical condition by repeating, "We'll see. I don't know."
Defensive lapses:Joe Panik's fifth-inning sacrifice fly accounted for an unearned run that came with some assistance provided by Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski and second baseman Kelly Johnson. Pierzynski was unable to corral Gregor Blanco's leadoff bunt in front of the plate. Kelby Tomlinson followed with a potential double-play chopper that Johnson fumbled, allowing the Giants to put two on with none out.
"[Perez] was really good," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "Like I said, the guys came in, picked each other up again and did a good job of holding the game right there to give us a chance."
Belt stays hot: Belt's second-inning single accounted for the Giants' first hit before his fourth-inning, two-run homer off Perez opened the scoring. Belt has 10 hits in his last 19 at-bats with two homers, four doubles and five RBIs in that stretch. He's also batting a team-high .347 (33-for-95) on the road.
Triple trouble:Ender Inciarte was fortunate that his fourth-inning triple fell out of a hustling Denard Span's glove and set the stage for Gordon Beckham's RBI groundout. Mallex Smith followed suit when he highlighted Atlanta's two-run sixth inning with his fourth triple within a span of 44 at-bats. Inciarte's triple accounted for the only ball the Braves hit out of the infield through the first five innings.
"Man, you can't ask any more out of a group of guys than what they did tonight. I've talked about this before, it's good to see them get rewarded for what they bring and how they go about it in effort. I've talked about that, and I just wanted them to be rewarded for it. And they did. They left it all out there tonight, and it was really gratifying to finish it off." -- Snitker
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Braves had lost each of the previous 30 games in which they trailed after eight innings. The Giants had won 27 of the previous 29 game in which they led after eight innings.
Atlanta has won four of the first nine games played during this homestand, which they entered with a 2-17 record at Turner Field.
Giants: West Coast fans can have breakfast with the Giants as they're scheduled to begin their series finale against Atlanta at 9:10 a.m. PT. Left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who has won his last five decisions, will start for the Giants.
Braves: Atlanta will send Aaron Blair to the mound for Thursday afternoon's series finale. In his first start back from the Minors, the right-hander surrendered two runs and struck out a career-high five batters in Saturday's 7-2 win over the Marlins. First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m. ET.
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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.