Braves shut out by Giants, trimming NL East lead

Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies, right fielder Jorge Soler and center fielder Joc Pederson, from left, can't catch a fly ball hit hit San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford during the sixth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies, right fielder Jorge Soler and center fielder Joc Pederson, from left, can't catch a fly ball hit hit San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford during the sixth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Credit: AP

Five takeaways from the Braves’ loss to San Francisco:

1. The Giants demonstrated the qualities that have allowed them to assemble baseball’s best record so far this season, combining stellar pitching and ample offense in a 5-0 win over the Braves on Saturday night at Truist Park. The series is even at a game apiece, with the finale on Sunday afternoon.

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Saturday’s outcome shaved a game off the first-place Braves’ lead in the National League East, now 4-1/2 games over the second-place Phillies, who defeated Arizona on Saturday.

2. The Braves were silenced by Giants starter Logan Webb, a 24-year-old right-hander having a breakthrough season. He pitched seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and one walk and striking out six. He is 7-0 with a 1.47 ERA over his past 13 games and 8-3 with a 2.65 ERA for the season.

The Braves’ best opportunity came in the sixth inning, when they had runners at first and third with no outs and the Giants leading 2-0. But Dansby Swanson popped out and Travis d’Arnaud grounded into a double play.

“In the sixth inning, I would have lost some money there,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I loved where we had the deck stacked, too, the guys we had up there. But a lot of credit goes to Webb.”

Relievers Tyler Rogers and Jay Jackson completed the shutout, just the fifth time this season the Braves have been shut out.

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Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Huascar Ynoa delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Credit: AP

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Huascar Ynoa delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Caption
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Huascar Ynoa delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

3. Braves starter Huascar Ynoa kept his team in the game, holding the Giants to two runs on three hits in six innings. Ynoa has made three starts since returning from an 81-game stint on the injured list with a broken hand. In those three starts, he has allowed five earned runs in 17-1/3 innings, equivalent to a 2.60 ERA.

“I didn’t go into the start with any fear or anything like that,” Ynoa, speaking through an interpreter, said of facing the 84-45 Giants. “I try to make sure I never go into any starts hesitant or fearful. My mentality is I go out there and I’m attacking the hitters.”

4. The Braves’ bullpen allowed three runs, turning the 2-0 deficit into 5-0. Richard Rodriguez allowed a solo homer to Mike Yastrzemski, just the second run Rodriguez has allowed in 12 games since joining the Braves. Chris Martin surrendered two runs on four hits, the second consecutive outing in which he has been scored upon.

5. Giants second baseman Tommy La Stella continued to thrive against his former team, turning an Ynoa fastball into a 397-foot home run to right field in the first inning -- his third homer in 15 career games against the Braves. He also drove in the Giants’ second run with a third-inning sacrifice fly.

La Stella entered the night hitting .321/.406/.607 (1.013 OPS) for his career against the Braves. He was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the first game of the series Friday.

La Stella, 32, was originally drafted by the Braves in 2011 and made his major-league debut with them in 2014 before being traded to the Cubs for relief pitcher Arodys Vizcaino in November 2014. He signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract with the Giants as a free agent in February.

Giants 5, Braves 0 (box score)

Quotable

“I think it’s definitely given me a little bit more confidence, and it’s allowing me to enjoy the adrenaline and the competition a little bit more.” -- Braves pitcher Huascar Ynoa on his past two starts, both effective, against the Yankees and Giants.

By the numbers

1-for-10: Braves with runners in scoring position Saturday, including 1-for-7 in that situation against Logan Webb.

32-32: The Braves’ record at home this season, compared to 37-27 on the road

Next game

The Braves and Giants will complete the three-game series Sunday afternoon at Truist Park. Ian Anderson (5-5, 3.56 ERA in 18 starts this season) is scheduled to pitch for the Braves in his first start since July 11. He has been on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation. As of Saturday, the Giants hadn’t announced their starter for the series finale.

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