For the second night in a row, the Giants used the long ball to power their way over the Braves, as San Francisco defeated Atlanta 3-1.
Coming of his best start of the year against the Cleveland Indians – seven innings of two-hit, shut out ball – Ryan Vogelsong rose to the occasion again, employing similar tactics to earn his first win of 2014.
The Giants offense continued to launch solo home runs on their way to the win on Friday night. Brandon Belt (second), Buster Posey (fourth), and Michael Morse (seventh) all hit solo shots to give San Francisco their only runs of the game. They’ve hit 28 solo bombs, the most in the majors.
Atlanta scratched across a run in the bottom of the third when Jason Heyward led off with a walk, stole second, and came in to tie the game on a B.J. Upton double.
Despite pitching from the stretch in four of his six innings, Vogelsong buckled down and delivered a gutsy performance against a first-place team. He threw 107 pitches – 64 strikes – allowing five hits, one run, four walks, and striking out six. He’s now in the win column this season (1-1, 4.60 ERA).
For the second night in a row, San Francisco made it a complete team win. Jeremy Affeldt, Jean Machi, and Sergio Romo no-hit the Braves for the remaining three innings, with Romo earning his ninth save of the year, tied for fourth in the majors.
The Giants also played solid defense behind their pitching. Pablo Sandoval started a tough double play in the second, Posey turned a strike-them-out-throw-them-out double play in the third, and Brandon Crawford was spectacular at shortstop, ending the game by robbing Andrelton Simmons of a base hit.
San Francisco is now a game-and-a-half ahead of the Colorado Rockies for first in the West. They’ll look to sweep the Braves on Sunday, sending ace Madison Bumgarner (2-3, 3.74) to face Alex Wood (2-4, 2.93).