SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ty Blach is making the most of his opportunity in San Francisco’s rotation after ace Madison Bumgarner went down with an injury.
Blach pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning and gave San Francisco’s struggling offense a boost with an RBI single during a three-run fourth that helped the Giants snap a four-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
After starting the season in the bullpen, Blach (3-2) moved into the rotation in late April after Bumgarner got hurt in a dirt bike accident in Colorado.
“Because of what happened he’s in the rotation,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s taking full advantage of it. He can pitch. … I’m not surprised by what he’s doing.”
Outside of one clunker in Cincinnati when he allowed eight runs in three innings, Blach has given the Giants a chance to win in his other six starts, allowing three or fewer runs in each of them.
Blach struck out four of the first eight batters he faced and didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning. He allowed six hits and two runs in 7 2-3 innings and didn’t allow a runner to reach third until the eighth when Atlanta scored twice to end his night.
“He’s got a decent arsenal,” Braves catcher Tyler Flowers said. “It seemed like he had pretty good command today too. He made big pitches when guys did get on and got double plays and stuff to shut down any rallies. He threw that ball well.”
Nick Hundley homered and drove in three runs and Brandon Belt added a solo shot against Mike Foltynewicz (3-5) as the Giants’ bats broke out after being held to six runs during the four-game skid.
Derek Law got the final out in the eighth and Mark Melancon got two outs for his 10th save in 12 chances.
Hundley, getting the start behind the plate to give Buster Posey a rest, opened the scoring with his first homer of the season in the second.
“That gives us a lot of confidence as a pitcher,” Blach said. “If you can keep the momentum on your side and get a zero, things can start going pretty good.”
Hundley added two more hits, including an RBI single in the eighth.
The Giants broke the game open with three runs in the fourth, starting when Belt led off the inning with his 10th homer of the season. San Francisco added four straight two-out hits, getting an RBI single from Blach and a run-scoring double from Denard Span to make it 5-0.
Foltynewicz allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings.
“Everything was up,” Foltynewicz said. “Fastball, the slider and the change-up tonight, so they were ready for everything that was in the zone and they did what they had to do with it.”
Braves: 3B Adonis Garcia (Achilles strain) went 1 for 3 with a run and RBI in seven innings in his second rehab game at Triple-A Gwinnett.
Giants: OF Jarrett Parker took live BP for the first time since breaking his left collarbone April 15 and is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week. … OF Hunter Pence (left hamstring) also took BP and could begin a rehab assignment in four or five days. … INF Conor Gillaspie had an MRI after having a setback in his rehab when he complained of tightness in his back after a swing.
Blach has been stellar at home. He has a 1.87 ERA in five starts at AT&T Park.
This marked just the fourth time all season the Braves faced a left-handed starter, fewest in the majors. Danny Santana got the start at third base in place of Rio Ruiz to get another right-handed bat in the lineup but it didn’t help. Santana went 0 for 3 against Blach and Atlanta fell to 2-2 this season against lefties.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (3-3) takes the mound for Atlanta in the series finale against Johnny Cueto (4-4).
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