SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Emergency Giants starter Albert Suarez only made one mistake. As the 26-year-old learned, though, in the major leagues, one can be enough.
Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer and Mike Foltynewicz pitched 7 2/3 strong innings, leading the Atlanta Braves over San Francisco 3-1 on Saturday night.
Kemp homered in the fourth to make it 3-1 against Suarez (3-2), who was called up from Triple-A Sacramento to start after Jake Peavy went on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain.
“For the first three innings all his pitches were crisp and hitting their spots,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Suarez. “The pitch he’d like back would the one to Kemp. It got away from him. That three-run homer was the difference in the game and our (bullpen) did a great job to hold them there.”
Kemp’s 26th homer was a high-arching shot that cleared the 399-foot fence in center, an especially impressive shot on a cold night.
“It always feels good to put your team up, especially coming in here,” Kemp said. “It’s good to kind of quiet the crowd a little bit because they get riled up when they’re up, if you can get on the board and get them down, they’ll back off you a little bit.”
Suarez didn’t allow a hit until Adonis Garcia singled leading off the fourth. Freddie Freeman followed with a double, and Kemp came to the plate with runners at second and third with nobody out.
“I was feeling very good,” Suarez said. “Then in the fourth it was one pitch and he put a good swing on it as he lifted it up. I threw a fastball. It was supposed to be outside and it wasn’t. I just tried to keep my head up and get ready for the next one.”
San Francisco fell to 13-26 since the All-Star break, the worst record in the majors over that stretch. The Giants were seeking their first three-game winning streak since winning four in a row just before the break.
The Giants fell two games behind the Dodgers for first in the NL West. Los Angeles beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 earlier Saturday.
Foltynewicz (7-4) struck out six and allowed five hits and a walk for just his second quality start in eight games.
His only mistake came in the second inning, when Brandon Crawford socked an 0-1 fastball for his 12th homer. Crawford also doubled.
The last-place Braves had lost 12 of 16 going into Saturday.
The Giants were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
Jim Johnson pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save.
SCORELESS STREAK SNAPPED
Prior to Kemp’s homer, the Giants had thrown 25 consecutive scoreless innings going back to the fifth inning of a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday.
Kemp leads all active players with 23 home runs against the Giants.
“That’s a big a strong man,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said of Kemp. “It was a short swing, it was a perfect swing almost, and that ball just took off. It’s very impressive where it landed.”
Giants: 1B Brandon Belt was a late scratch with neck tightness. Belt struck out pinch-hitting in the eighth inning. INF Conor Gillaspie replaced Belt at first. … Peavy’s move to the DL is retroactive to Aug. 21. Peavy underwent an MRI on Saturday, the results of which weren’t immediately known, manager Bruce Bochy said. … OF Hunter Pence also underwent an MRI on Saturday for his strained right hamstring. Bochy said Pence is day to day and he expects Pence to return to the lineup on Tuesday in Arizona. … RHP Matt Cain, who went on the DL on Aug. 18 with a lower back strain, was scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday. He’s expected to slot into the fifth spot in the rotation the next time it comes up on Sept. 2.
Braves: RHP Aaron Blair was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnet to pitch the series finale in San Francisco. Blair is 0-5 with a 7.99 ERA in 11 starts with the Braves.
Giants: Since the All-Star break, LHP Madison Bumgarner is 2-4 with a 3.71 ERA and four quality starts in eight outings. Bumgarner gave up a season-high five earned runs in five innings against the Dodgers last time out. He’s 6-0 with a 1.75 ERA in his last seven starts against the Braves.
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