MLB: Braves hope walk-off magic continues against Giants
The Atlanta Braves hope to continue their late-inning magic when they close a four-game series with the visiting San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon.
Atlanta won two of the first three games in the series, both on walk-off hits. On Wednesday, the Braves scored three times in the ninth inning for a 4-3 victory. It was the first time this season Atlanta won a game when behind after eight innings. The Braves had been 0-26 in those circumstances.
“When we’re playing good teams, we’re going to play some tight ballgames,” said Atlanta left fielder Adam Duvall, who drove in the winning run on Wednesday. “We did a good job putting together some at-bats and were able to come up with a win.
“You go on streaks and get on a roll, you start to feel good. You try to extend those as long as you can. We know in our minds that we can do it and that’s half the battle, believing you can come back and win.”
San Francisco left-hander Alex Wood (5-5, 4.32 ERA) will be opposed by Atlanta right-hander Kyle Wright (7-4, 2.94) in the series finale.
Wood is a former Atlanta second-round draft pick who played with the Braves from 2013-15 before being part of a three-team deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins.
Wood is in his second season with the Giants and will be making his 14th start of the year. He has won his past two outings, including on Saturday over the Pittsburgh Pirates despite allowing four runs, three of them coming on a home run, in 5 1/3 innings.
“Woody pitched really well, we played good defense and we had good at-bats up and down the lineup,” Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said.
Wood faced the Braves once last season on Sept. 18 when he returned from being sidelined due to COVID-19. He threw three no-hit innings with four strikeouts before being lifted. Wood will be making his eighth start against Atlanta, against whom he is 3-3 with a 3.89 ERA.
Wright was roughed up in his latest start on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. He gave up a season-high 11 hits and allowed five runs in six innings.
“I didn’t feel like I gave up that many hits,” Wright said. “I thought I executed pretty good, got some soft contact but put the ball in play and some things happen sometimes.”
Wright has made only one appearance against the Giants in his career, giving up one run in one inning of relief in 2019.
The Giants could get Crawford back in the lineup on Thursday. He was injured in a collision at the plate on Tuesday night while scoring on a sacrifice fly. An MRI revealed no structural damage, and manager Gabe Kapler was optimistic that he could start the finale.
“That was really good news for all of us,” Kapler said. “He gets banged up during the season, but he’s pretty durable over the course of his career.”
Giants outfielder Luis Gonzalez was a late scratch Wednesday with due to tightness, forcing changes throughout the lineup. He will be a game-time decision for the series finale.
–Field Level Media