Braves
Giants
4 - 2 Final
  for this game

Smoltz, McCann lift Braves over Giants

Jul 24, 2007 - 6:47 AM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- John Smoltz stifled the San Francisco Giants' offense and ensured Barry Bonds would have to wait another day in his crawl towards Hank Aaron's home run record.

Smoltz pitched seven effective innings and Brian McCann drove in three runs to lift the Braves to a 4-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a four-game series Monday.

After pitching seven scoreless innings with a season-high 11 strikeouts in his first game back from the disabled list on Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds, Smoltz gave up two runs - one earned - and seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Smoltz is just 2-1 over his last four starts despite posting a 1.44 ERA and 28 strikeouts over 25 innings.

"Smoltzy had another terrific game, that's back-to-back," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "He came off the disabled list and had the 15-day break and he's been strong both times. He went a strong seven tonight. We had to be a little bit careful with him make sure he can go all year if he can and McCann got the big hit in the very first inning. That held up."

"It was a good way to start our road trip," Smoltz said. "It's a tremendous challenge. I like to go after (Bonds). It's weird to go after a lineup where you know he's one of the best, but now he's chasing something everybody is going to ask you questions about all year. We were able to win the game and I was able to challenge him."

Rafael Soriano pitched around Bonds' base hit in the eighth inning and Bob Wickman pitched a perfect ninth to record his 17th save of the season.

McCann gave Smoltz all the run support he needed in the opening frame by sending a 2-1 offering from Giants starter Matt Cain (3-12) to deep center for a three-run double, giving Atlanta an early 3-0 advantage.

"It was great, I needed it," McCann said. "I feel like I'm getting back to where I was and it was good to go the other way three times tonight. To get Smoltzy a three-run lead is huge for us."

It was not a good start for Cain, who threw 43 pitches in the first after the Braves sent eight batters to the plate in the inning. The first four hitters drew full counts en route to loading the bases for McCann, who extended his hitting streak to six games.

After losing five of their last seven games, the Braves were finally able to gain some ground in their chase for the NL East division crown, trailing by three games behind the division-leading New York Mets, who had an off day.

"It's all about winning games," McCann said when asked about the circus atmosphere surrounding Bonds' chase. "We want to get to the postseason. We want to play in October. That's everybody's goal in this clubhouse."

After drawing a walk in the first inning, Bonds grounded out to second in the fourth and sixth before his eighth-inning single.

The seven-time MVP is now 1-for-9 with four walks in his last three games since blasting two home runs against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

"We pitched to him every time," Cox said. "He can still swing the lumber. He's really been the best ballplayer in the game for years."

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was pleased with what he saw from Bonds in his at-bats against one of the National League's top pitchers.

"He swung the bat well tonight," Bochy said. "He hit balls hard. Barry's fine. He's not gonna change. He's dealt with everything. He hasn't changed a bit. He's got that ability to keep all the distractions away and he's done that."

Cain was relieved after hurling 95 pitches over 4 1/3 innings. The 22-year-old righthander surrendered four runs and six hits with four walks and two strikeouts en route to his third straight loss.

"It was just not getting necessarily ahead of guys with fastballs and that got me in trouble," Cain said. "I was hit or miss in the beginning I wasn't getting ahead of guys with the fastballs."

Cain is 1-7 with a 4.82 ERA in his last eight starts. In those seven losses, the Giants' offense has produced just nine runs.

San Francisco got on the scoreboard early when Dave Roberts scored on Smoltz's wild pitch in the first inning, cutting Atlanta's lead to 3-1.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 8 1
    SAN FRANCISCO 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ATL - JOHN SMOLTZ, RAFAEL SORIANO (8TH), BOB WICKMAN (9TH) AND BRIAN
    MCCANN
    SFO - MATT CAIN, JACK TASCHNER (5TH), JONATHAN SANCHEZ
    (8TH) AND BENGIE MOLINA

    HOME R

    Jul 24 12:56 AM
  • mark looks like just one more AB for barry...

    Braves vs. GiantsJul 24 12:35 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    KEVIN FRANDSEN HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING MARK SWEENEY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    SAN FRANCISCO 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: D ROBERTS (.251, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Braves vs. GiantsJul 24 12:25 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE BY JOHN SMOLTZ SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FRANCO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    SAN FRANCISCO 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: W HARRIS (.328, 0-FOR-2)

    Braves vs. GiantsJul 23 11:21 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY JOHN SMOLTZ ALLOWED DAVE ROBERTS TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B BONDS ON FIRST, R DURHAM ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    SAN FRANCISCO 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: R KLESKO (.279, 0-FOR-0)

    Braves vs. GiantsJul 23 10:44 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 3 3 2 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: ATL - JOHN SMOLTZ
    SFO - MATT CAIN

    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: D ROBERTS (.249, 2 HR, 14 RBI)
    R WINN (.294, 6 HR, 32 RBI)
    R DURHAM (.244, 8 HR, 50 RBI)

    Braves vs. GiantsJul 23 10:35 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Elephande Added 5 roots

    Braves vs. GiantsJul 23 10:35 AM
  • Elephande Bonds at home with a chance to hit #756 off of Aaron's old team? There's some irony for you.

    Braves vs. GiantsJul 23 10:35 AM