Fan’s Preview: Will Giants Sweep Braves at Turner Field for First Time Since 1988?

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With the game tied at three at the top of the 11th inning, the San Francisco Giants found power contributions from two unlikely sources. With Eli Whiteside and Brandon Belt on base, Brandon Crawford started the extra-innings run with only his second home run of the season off of Chad Durbin. A few batters later, Gregor Blanco batted in Justin Christian and Melky Cabrera for a three-run homer of his own to lead the Giants to a 9-4 win over the Atlanta Braves. With a quick turnaround for the Thursday series finale, will the Giants find a way to complete an unaccomplished task for the past 24 years?

Not since June 27-29, 1988 have the Giants swept the Braves in Atlanta. If the Giants can once again get solid hitting and pitching, they could finally end this cold streak. However, it'll be difficult with Tim Hudson, arguably the Braves' best starting pitcher, on the mound.

Hudson has not lost to the Giants since 2006 and is 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA in seven meetings against the Giants. Despite having a couple of bad outings against the Washington Nationals and New York Mets this month, Hudson will surely look to stop his team's losing streak and prevent the Giants from sweeping them.

Matchup:

The San Francisco Giants will face the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field located in Atlanta, GA on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 9:10 a.m. PT. This will be the third game in a three-game series.

Season series:

Giants lead season series 2-0.

Standings:

San Francisco comes into the matchup with a 51-40 record and in first place in the National League West. They are 22-24 when playing on the road and have won six of their last 10 games.

Atlanta comes enters the game with a 49-41 record and in second place in the National League East. They are 23-24 when playing at home and have won seven of their last 10 games.

Starting pitcher matchup:

San Francisco: Madison Bumgarner

2012 season: 11-5, 3.15 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 104 Ks

Numbers vs. Braves in last five years: 0-1, 4.66 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 7 Ks

Atlanta: Tim Hudson

2012 season: 7-4, 3.80 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 58 Ks

Numbers vs. Giants in last five years: 3-0, 2.23 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 23 Ks

Where to watch and listen to the game:

The game can be watched live locally at the following:

In San Francisco: CSN-BA HD and KNBR 680

In Atlanta: SPSO, WNNX 100.5, and WCNN 680

Batting statistic leaders:

San Francisco: Melky Cabrera - .354 batting average, Buster Posey - 11 home runs, Buster Posey - 52 runs batted in.

Atlanta: Martin Prado - .311 batting average, Jason Heyward - 14 home runs, Freddie Freeman - 54 runs batted in.

Next series on tap:

Following this series, the Giants will visit the Philadelphia Phillies from July 20-22 and host the San Diego Padres from July 23-25.

Meanwhile, the Braves' next two series will be on the road against the Washington Nationals from July 20-22 and on the road against the Miami Marlins from July 23-25.

Sources:

Giants seek sweep of Braves behind Bumgarner, MLB.com

Astros-Giants Preview, AP

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Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Google+ and Twitter @_austinchang.

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