Atlanta (23-20) at San Francisco (20-23)

Fair Currently: San Francisco, CA
Temp: 60° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Mon May 25, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Atlanta’s Brian McCann(notes) credits his new glasses for his improvement at the plate. He was already hitting pretty well against the San Francisco Giants before the change.

McCann and the Braves look to win a season-high fourth straight Monday afternoon when they open a three-game series at San Francisco.

Atlanta (23-20) begins this seven-game road trip after completing a 6-3 homestand, capped by a three-game sweep of Toronto over the weekend. The Braves improved to 12-5 since May 6 with a 10-2 victory Sunday.

McCann homered twice in the win—the fifth multihomer game of his career and first since July 25. The catcher went 6 for 10 over the weekend and is hitting .396 (19 for 48) in 14 games since getting new glasses to combat blurred vision.

Kelly Johnson(notes) also homered and added a two-run, ground-rule double during a seven-run seventh inning. Chipper Jones(notes), who had missed the previous two games after hurting his right big toe Thursday, contributed an RBI single. The Braves have scored 35 runs and hit .308 in winning five of their last six games.

“It looks like everybody’s finally in a groove,” McCann said. “Everything fell into place.”

A lifetime .291 hitter against the Giants, McCann batted .320 (8 for 25) last year in seven games against them, but the Braves won only two.

Javier Vazquez(notes) (4-3, 3.39 ERA) looks to help the Braves extend their winning streak. He’s won his last two decisions, and the Braves have won his last three starts. The right-hander limited Colorado to one unearned run over five innings of a 12-4 victory over Colorado on Wednesday.

Vazquez, who is fourth in the NL with 73 strikeouts, has a 1.83 ERA over his last three starts. He is 5-6 with a 3.38 ERA against the Giants, but has not faced them since 2005.

San Francisco (20-23), meanwhile, has lost nine of 11. It dropped two of three over the weekend, including a 5-4 defeat at Seattle on Sunday, to finish its road trip 1-5.

The Giants had taken a 3-2 lead in the fifth after three consecutive two-out, RBI singles, but Barry Zito(notes) gave up a go-ahead three-run homer to Adrian Beltre(notes) in the bottom of the inning.

“We get the momentum going and score three, and going out there and giving it right back up, that’s tough to swallow,” said Zito, who also allowed a two-run shot. “That’s the most frustrating part. I walked the No. 9 hitter, Ichiro(notes) (Suzuki) singled and the other guy (Yuniesky Betancourt(notes)) bunted. I’m very upset with myself about that.”

The Giants have been held to 14 runs in their last six games.

San Francisco will try to bounce back when Jonathan Sanchez(notes) (1-4, 4.74) takes the mound. The Giants have lost the left-hander’s last five starts, but he’s only been provided with five runs of support during that stretch.

Sanchez allowed two runs and two hits over six innings Wednesday, but was saddled with a 2-1 loss to the San Diego Padres. He is 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in one start and three lifetime appearances against the Braves.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Vazquez Mia vs. J. Sanchez ChC
15-10 Record 8-12
2.87 ERA 4.24
238 K 177
44 BB 88
1.03 WHIP 1.37


Monday, May 25