The Atlanta Braves used some late theatrics to rebound from their most lopsided home loss and snap one of their longest skids. There wasn’t as much drama in their most recent matchup with Tim Lincecum
The San Francisco Giants right-hander shut down the Braves last month and will try to help his club become the first to win a series in Atlanta this season Sunday night.
After getting blanked 6-0 in the series opener, Atlanta (40-28) avoid another loss by scoring two runs in the ninth inning Saturday. That 6-5 victory snapped a season high-tying four-game skid.
Freddie Freeman had the winning single one batter after Justin Upton drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game. B.J. Upton started the rally from a three-run deficit with the second of his two home runs in the sixth inning.
“It’s just nice to be able to come back,” Freeman said. “We battled and to come back and get a win makes it nice.”
With the victory, the Braves improved their major league-best home record to 22-8 and moved to 14-3 since May 5 at Turner Field.
They’ll try to add to that gaudy record with a better performance against Lincecum than in a 5-1 defeat May 12.
Lincecum (4-6, 4.70 ERA) allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings and struck out seven in that win, which snapped a personal four-game skid to Atlanta. He’s gone 1-4 with a 5.79 ERA in his five subsequent starts and couldn’t outduel Pittsburgh top prospect Gerrit Cole in an 8-2 loss Tuesday.
Lincecum gave up four runs - two earned - while failing to make it past the fifth inning for the second time in three outings.
“I kind of put myself in some holes with some pitches that weren’t really even close to the zone,” Lincecum said. “I really wasn’t challenging the zone with quality strikes. When I did throw quality strikes, they put them in play and hurt us.”
Lincecum, who turned 29 on Saturday, has lost in each of his last three starts in Atlanta but was on the wrong end of a 1-0 score in his most recent game there Aug. 18, 2011.
His counterpart for the series finale, Julio Teheran (4-3, 3.62), is 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA in his last four home starts but is coming off one of his worst efforts of the season. The right-hander tied a career high by giving up five runs in his six innings of a 7-6 loss in San Diego on Monday.
Teheran won his only start against San Francisco (35-32) on May 9, giving up three runs over seven innings in a 6-3 final.
Hunter Pence went 0 for 3 against Teheran but is batting .400 (12 for 30) with five doubles and eight RBIs in his last seven games overall. Pence is also hitting .355 with 19 RBIs in his last 29 games against Atlanta.