ATLANTA -- After giving up eight runs in his last start against the Rockies, Jeff Samardzija knew he had to command his slider and two-seam fastball in order to pitch more effectively.
In Wednesday's 5-3 loss against the Braves, the Giants right-hander was more like himself as he struck out eight batters and didn't allow a walk over seven innings. He got the no-decision but was far more efficient, as 60 of his 79 pitches were strikes.
"For the most part it [the slider] was a good pitch for us and I got a lot of outs on it," Samardzija said. "The fastball was pretty good and I was happy with everything today."
According to Statcast™, Samardzija's two-seam fastball averaged 93.3 mph, and registered seven called strikes. However, he did make a pair of mistakes with the pitch, as Matt Adams and Tyler Flowers tagged him with home runs.
It was the third consecutive start that he allowed multiple homers and is something Samardzija admits he wants to clean up moving forward.
"It was unfortunate, but you go out and you pitch and throw as many times as you can out there to see what happens," Samardzija said. "Unfortunately, they went out there and took the lead, but we battled back to tie it up."
Despite the two homers, Samardzija continued to pitch well against the Braves. He retired 20 of the 27 batters he faced and struck out eight. He also danced out of some trouble and didn't allow a walk. In his career, he has a 2.62 ERA in seven starts against the Braves.
"He pitched outstanding and the whole team really battled today," Giants reliever Cory Gearrin said. "The offense gave us a shot there in the ninth to restart the game and it was huge."
Despite a 2-9 record, Samardzija has gone at least six innings in his last four starts. He continued a string of quality starts by the starting rotation in the series.
"You look at the record and it's not indicative of how he has thrown the ball," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He doesn't let that bother him as he keeps coming at you. It has been impressive."
Samardzija hopes his start can carry over throughout the rest of the season.
"This game is about resilience and learning and fighting for your teammates no matter the situation," Samardzija said. "I am going to go out there and get those guys in the dugout as fast as possible and I want them hitting."