Buster Posey drove in five runs and the visiting Giants scored six runs in the fourth inning to cruise past the Atlanta Braves 9-0 on Tuesday, their fourth consecutive victory. The Giants’ win also snapped Atlanta’s seven-game win streak.
Posey, a Georgia native, went 3-for-5 with two doubles. That was more than enough support for left-hander Barry Zito (8-6), who surrendered just three hits in seven shutout innings while walking one and striking out four.
Posey doubled home Gregor Blanco in the first, singled to score Melky Cabrera in the third and cleared the bases with a three-run double to left-center in the big fourth inning off reliever Luis Avilan.
Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens (3-3), who had not lost in four starts since returning from the minors, surrendered eight runs on eight hits with three walks and one strikeout in 3¹⁄³ innings.
Zito singled home the first run of the fourth off Jurrjens. Back-to-back run-scoring singles from Ryan Theriot and Cabrera made it 5-0 and ended Jurrjens’ night. Posey followed with his three-run double.
Cabrera, Angel Pagan and Brandon Crawford each added two hits for the Giants, who finished 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position after struggling virtually all season long in those situations.
Avilan gave up five hits and one run in 3²⁄³ innings of relief, striking out five.
The only downside for the Giants on Tuesday came when catcher Hector Sanchez came out of the game in the fourth with a sprained left knee. Posey, who started at first base, moved behind the plate. Sanchez is scheduled to have an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury.
Pablo Sandoval will act as the backup catcher unless Sanchez is forced to go on the disabled list. Eli Whiteside would be a candidate to be called up from Triple-A Fresno should Sanchez’s injury warrant a DL stint.
NOTES: Atlanta left-hander Jonny Venters, on the disabled list with an elbow impingement, threw a bullpen session Tuesday and likely will start a minor-league rehab assignment this weekend. ... Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones did not get a hit for just the second time in his past 17 games. ... San Francisco has allowed just five runs during its four-game winning streak. ... Zito improved to 4-0 in five career starts at Turner Field.
— SportsDirect via Reuters