Ninth-inning Crawford bungle costs Giants

A Brandon Crawford error fueled a four-run Braves ninth inning that lifted Atlanta to a 7-5 comeback win over the Giants and a split of the weekend series.

Giants closer Santiago Casilla entered the ninth with a 5-3 lead, but was undone by a three-run triple from Atlanta second baseman Jace Peterson that grabbed back the lead after a Giants comeback in the bottom of the seventh.

This story has been updated with post-game quotes and additional material from the Giants clubhouse.

Crawford committed a huge error at short with one out, fumbling a Christian Bethancourt grounder that looked destined for a game-ending double play. A.J. Pierzynski followed with a bloop single that loaded the bases for Atlanta, setting up Peterson’s bases clearing triple.

Casilla (L, 4-1, 2.82 ERA) earlier gave up a solo home run to Braves pinch-hitter Freddy Freeman to cut the Giants lead to 5-4.

Bochy tried to see the positives after the game:

“That’s a tough one, lotta good things happened. Bum threw the ball well, we made a nice comeback there, and it just got away from us there in the ninth. These things happen sometimes, we gotta bounce back now.”

Crawford said the thought of the double play caused him to rush and commit the error:

“I came at it too hard. I was trying to get two (outs) before I ever got the ball … It’s disappointing with the comeback that we had with Joe’s home run.”

Not long before, It looked like a two-run homer by Joe Panik had saved the day for San Francisco. The Giants entered the seventh trailing by a run after squandering a 2-1 advantage in the top half of the inning.

Panik’s homer was part of a three-run seventh that began with a Matt Duffy lead-off double. Duffy’s double ended the afternoon of Braves ace Julio Teheran, and the Giants proceeded to give Braves reliever Donnie Veal a day to forget, first by tying the game on a Gregor Blanco RBI single, then retaking the lead 5-3 on Panik’s fourth big fly of 2015.

Former Giant Juan Uribe did his best to spoil the Giants afternoon in the top half of the inning, giving the Braves a 3-2 lead on a two-run shot into the left field bleachers.

The homer was Uribe’s second in as many games and a black mark on an otherwise sharp performance by Madison Bumgarner. The big left-hander went 6-1/3 innings and struck out six while allowing three runs on five hits.

Teheran has struggled this season after a dominating 2014, but put together a quality start in his own right, giving up three runs through six innings.

The Giants got off to a hot start in the bottom of the second, hitting back to back solo home runs for the second time this season. Belt just missed a splash hit with a jack into Levi’s Landing and Crawford followed with a dinger over the scoreboard in right-center field.

Chris Johnson, starting in place of everyday Atlanta first baseman Freddy Freeman, put the Braves within a run with an RBI single in the top of the fifth. Bay Area native Jonny Gomes scored from third after advancing from first on a fielder’s choice and from second on a passed ball.

Giants reliever Hunter Strickland came up big in the top of the eighth inning, getting three straight outs with men on base after Jeremy Affeldt allowed Jace Peterson aboard with a leadoff single.

After splitting the series 2-2 with the loss, the Giants send Ryan Vogelsong (4-2, 4.24 ERA) to the AT&T mound against Gerrit Cole (7-2, 2.11 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game series starting Monday at 7:15 p.m.

Notes

The Giants dropped their first contest of the season when leading after 8.0 innings (25-1). … The Giants’ three home runs today matched their season-high (third time). … Sunday was the first time the Giants had hit three home runs in a home game since June 15, 2014 vs. Colorado.


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