Alex Wood’s poor performance against the Braves sends the SF Giants home on a sour note

ATLANTA. The return of Alex Wood was unforgettable.

On a sweltering 34-degree day, Wood earned an early shower, making his first start since 2019 in the area he calls home during the off-season against the organization that drafted him. With six runs in the first two innings, the Braves quickly put the game out of reach, giving the Giants a 7-6 loss and sending them home from that seven-game trip with a losing record.

Wood lasted six batters in the second inning; they all reached the base and he was yanked without fixing the exit. He was marked with six runs in over one inning, the shortest outing of his career short of starting in 2015 when he was injured after two innings.

In a series – and journey – defined by close games, its finale teetered on the brink of a breakthrough.

Wood’s failed attempt saw the Giants 7-1 in the hole by the end of the fourth inning. He walked two and hit two batters, and allowed six hits, including one of Dansby Swanson’s two home runs, the first time in this season by raising his ERA by more than 5.00.

The deficit turned out to be too big to overcome, even with high-scoring plays in the sixth and eighth rounds that brought the Giants within two. All seven games of this trip were decided in two draws or less, but the Giants won only three of them.

Jock Pederson unloaded in a giant home run with the Giants to their final out, hitting a 426-foot pitch from Kenley Jansen into the upper vestibule in right field, making it a one-pass loss. The Giants scored the last five runs of the game, and Pederson ended his 4-of-12 comeback to Atlanta with two home runs.

The Giants’ bullpen gave them a chance for a comeback, throwing in seven innings and only allowing one once after Wood left the game.

Opposite-field Austin Slater’s home run in fifth place was the highlight of the Giants’ day at the plate. Slater, who finished 2-of-4 and was the only Giant with multiple RBIs, got a rare start against the right-hander after Luis Gonzalez was placed on the 10-day injured list ahead of the first inning with a back strain that also kept him out Wednesday.

The Giants loaded the bases twice but failed to score twice in total. They put runners on base in each of the first four innings, but double-played every frame.

Mike Yastrzemski’s fourth outing of the game ended in a bases-laden opportunity in the sixth, stuck on base by Tommy La Stella and Tyro Estrada, who were in two runs of the half. In the first, three consecutive Giants hit singles to load the bases after Yastrzemski led the game with his first strikeout. But Evan Longoria hit one of four double plays that day, finishing the pitch without a run.

Just like their day on the plate, the Giants’ seven-game trip through Pittsburgh and Atlanta will be defined by missed opportunities.

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