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Braves power past Giants
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Atlanta Braves' Mallex Smith hits a triple, driving in three runs in the second inning of Monday afternoon's game against the San Francisco Giants. The Braves have been playing better recently, winning three of their last four games. - photo by Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Mike Foltynewicz is showing he can be more than just a fastball pitcher — and that he can be part of the Braves' long-term rotation.

Foltynewicz continued his recent upswing by allowing only three hits and one run in six-plus innings, Mallex Smith hit a three-run triple and Atlanta beat Jeff Samardzija and the San Francisco Giants 5-3 on Monday.

The Braves survived San Francisco's two-run, ninth-inning rally. They have won three of four and are 5-21 at home, still easily the worst in the majors.

Foltynewicz (2-2) gave up a leadoff homer to Brandon Belt in the second inning, but allowed only one other runner to advance to second.

Foltynewicz, 24, has had other recent strong starts, including eight scoreless innings in a 5-0 win at Kansas City on May 14. His start on Monday may have been his most impressive demonstration of altering the speeds of his fastball while mixing in a curveball and slider.

"Probably the best total package I've seen out of him," Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said.

Foltynewicz showed he doesn't have to throw his fastball at full velocity.

"It's nice to know I don't have to throw 97 all the time," he said.

The Giants rallied against Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino in the ninth.

Brandon Crawford's run-scoring single was the Giants' third straight hit off Vizcaino. The closer struck out Jarrett Parker before second baseman Kelly Johnson bobbled pinch-hitter Buster Posey's grounder, allowing another run to score. Kolby Tomlinson's grounder to third base ended the game.

The Giants suffered only their third loss in their past 15 road games. Overall, it was San Francisco's third loss in 18 games.

Samardzija (7-3) was looking for his fourth straight win as a starter for the first time in his career. The right-hander allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits and two walks in five innings — his shortest start of the season.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said some calls on pitches went against Samardzija.

"I was getting frustrated," Bochy said. "Some of those pitches looked pretty good."

Samardzija said the start was "just kind of puzzling."

Samardzija and the Giants paid for a decision to issue an intentional walk to A.J. Pierzynski, loading the bases with one out in the second. Samardzija struck out Foltynewicz, the No. 8 hitter, before Smith's triple to the left-center gap. It was Smith's third triple, and he ranks second on the team with 18 RBIs.


Giants right-hander Chris Stratton, called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday when Matt Cain was placed on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, made his debut with a perfect eighth inning with two strikeouts.


Gordon Beckham made his first start at shortstop since July 9, 2015, with the White Sox. He has started 11 games at second base and 10 games at third base this season. Shortstop was his original position, including as a standout at the University of Georgia.

"I always like going back over there," Beckham said. "It's fun being the captain of the defense for a day."


Giants: X-rays on 3B Matt Duffy's left hand were negative after he was hit by a pitch in the sixth. He completed the inning before being replaced by Kolby Tomlinson. ... RHP Sergio Romo (strained flexor) could rejoin the team within a week. He has allowed one run with six strikeouts in three innings in his rehab stint with Triple-A Sacramento.


Giants: RHP Jake Peavy will try to improve his 7.26 ERA by continuing his recent upswing when he faces the Braves on Tuesday night. Peavy has allowed only one earned run in two of his past three starts. The other start in that span was an ugly loss to the Cubs in which he lasted only 1 2/3 innings and allowed five runs.

Braves: RHP Matt Wisler (2-4, 3.08) will make his first start against the Giants. Wisler is 0-3 with a 4.18 ERA in five home starts and is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA away from Turner Field.