San Francisco (66-55) at Atlanta (70-51)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EDT Mon Aug 15, 2011
  • TV: ESPN2, FSS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The San Francisco Giants clinched a berth in the NL championship series in their last visit to Atlanta. They’ll be trying to get back into position just to make the playoffs in their latest trip to Turner Field.

The Giants will try for their first three-game winning streak in nearly a month when they open a four-game set against the Braves on Monday night.

San Francisco closed out Atlanta at Turner Field in Game 4 of their division series Oct. 11. The Giants, though, arrive in town this time having dropped out of the top spot in the NL West after a rough few weeks.

San Francisco (66-56) has gone 5-11 in its last 16, though it showed signs of breaking out of its slump by taking the final two games of its three-game set with Florida over the weekend.

The Giants won 5-2 on Sunday as Ryan Vogelsong(notes) pitched into the eighth and Brandon Belt(notes) hit two of his team’s four home runs, which matched a club season high.

It was a rare flash of power for San Francisco, which scored more than three runs for the third time in 16 games.

“Hopefully we can keep it going and help the team,” left fielder Cody Ross(notes), whose two-run homer ended the Giants’ major league record streak of 21 consecutive solo home runs, told the team’s official website.

The Giants have won two in a row for the first time since July 27-28, just before their current 16-game slump started. They last won three straight July 17-19.

San Francisco trails Arizona by a small margin in the division while Atlanta (70-51) has a four-game advantage over the second-place Giants in the wild-card standings.

The Braves allowed the Giants to cut into their wild-card lead by losing their final two games against Chicago over the weekend. Atlanta failed to protect leads of 4-0 and 5-4, and saw Dan Uggla’s(notes) 33-game hitting streak come to an end.

“The streak is one thing. I’m more disappointed in the loss,” Uggla said. “I had fun with it. We had a nice, little roll as a team and we’re looking to get back on track tomorrow.”

Tim Hudson(notes) (12-7, 3.18 ERA) appears to give the Braves a good chance to do so. The right-hander has won his last three starts with a 1.69 ERA and has pitched at least seven innings in his previous six outings.

Hudson pitched 8 2-3 innings and gave up two runs in a 5-2 victory at San Francisco on April 23, part of a Braves three-game sweep. He has gone 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his last four starts against San Francisco - one coming in the NLDS.

Atlanta catcher Brian McCann(notes), out since July 27 with a strained left oblique, went 0 for 4 with one strikeout in his return from the disabled list Sunday. He was hitting .306 before being injured.

Madison Bumgarner(notes) (7-11, 3.53) earned the win in the division series clincher versus the Braves in October, but he had a dismal outing against them April 22. The left-hander allowed four runs in 2 2-3 innings of that 4-1 loss.

Bumgarner, however, is coming off one of his sharpest starts of the year. He surrendered four hits and struck out 10 in a 6-0 win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday, snapping a two-start losing streak.

The Giants are mulling whether to place right fielder Carlos Beltran(notes) on the disabled list with a hand injury after he missed his sixth straight game Sunday. Beltran is hitting .244 with two RBIs in 11 games with San Francisco since being acquired from the New York Mets.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Bumgarner SF vs. T. Hudson SF
13-13 Record 16-10
3.21 ERA 3.22
191 K 158
46 BB 56
1.21 WHIP 1.14


Monday, Aug 15