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Braves Bullpen Falters Late In 11 Inning Loss To Giants

The Braves and Giants played one of the more memorable games of the 2012 season on Wednesday night. Unfortunately for the home-town Braves, things fell apart late as they fell by a score of 9-4 in 11 innings. The loss in their second straight after a seven-game winning streak.

Juan Francisco hit a solo homer in the third inning to score Atlanta's lone run of regulation. Melky Cabrera homered in the top of the sixth to tie the score at 1-1. The Braves had a prime scoring opportunity in the ninth, but Paul Janish and Michael Bourn both struck out to end the threat.

The Giants scored two runs in the top of the 10th, aided greatly by a couple of bloops and squibs off the bat. It appeared the Braves were done in the bottom of the frame, but Freddie Freeman doubled with two outs to bring up Brian McCann. Mac belted a high fastball to left field, just clearing the wall to tie the game at 3-3.

Despite having all the momentum on their side, Anthony Varvaro allowed the first two runners to reach in the top of the 11th. Chad Durbin then entered, and after recording a strikeout he promptly left a cutter up in the zone to Brandon Crawford, who deposited deep in the right field seats for a three-run homer. Gregor Blanco eventually hit a three-run jack of his own to push the score to 9-3.

Chipper Jones led off the bottom of the 11th with a solo homer, but that's all the Braves would muster against Brad Penny.

Atlanta will look to avoid the sweep on Thursday afternoon against Madison Bumgarner and the Giants. They'll send Tim Hudson to the mound.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.