Pence’s three-run homer lifts Giants over Braves

The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — A little heat and humidity was not going to discourage Jake Peavy and the San Francisco Giants.

Peavy threw six solid innings and Hunter Pence hit a tie-breaking three-run homer in the eighth inning as the Giants bounced back from a deflating loss with an 8-3 win over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

“I love the humidity,” said Peavy, who is from Mobile, Ala. “Certainly I’ve gotten away from it, but when I come home, I feel good. I’ve pitched in this weather all my life. I love it.”

Peavy gave up one run and five hits in six innings as he continues to pitch at a high level since returning from the disabled list. Peavy struck out a season-high eight and walked one while throwing a season-high 106 pitches on a 94-degree night. Peavy has a 2.63 ERA in six starts since recovering from back and hip injuries.

“Certainly I expect to make a difference and expect to win on my day,” said Peavy, who missed all of May and June. “We’ve done that the four times out of the (All-Star) break and I am extremely excited about that.”

The Giants blew leads of 6-0, 7-5 in the ninth and 8-7 in the 12th against the Braves on Monday, but the late innings belonged to San Francisco on Tuesday. Pence’s home run capped a four-run eighth after the Braves had built a 3-2 lead in the seventh. Gregor Blanco and Matt Duffy (four hits) led off with doubles, and after an intentional walk to Buster Posey, Pence homered off Dave Aardsma (0-1). Nori Aoki added a solo home run during a two-run ninth.

“(This was a) good bounce back,” said Giants manager Bruce Boche. “Great night for us. A hard-fought win.”

Jeremy Affeldt (1-2) picked up the win for the Giants, who have won 12 of 16 since the All-Star break. They are 1/2 game back of the Cubs for the second wild card spot in the National League.

“We’ve played extremely good ball since we came out of the (All-Star) break,” Peavy said. “You saw the character of the San Francisco Giants show up tonight. We talked about it before the game. To come back again against late-inning relievers after giving up a lead in the seventh inning and respond the way we did is a real testament to who this team is.”

For the Braves, the frustration continued for Shelby Miller, whose winless streak was extended to 14 starts despite giving up just two runs in seven innings and leaving with a 3-2 lead. Miller has a 3.14 ERA during the streak, which started after he lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning on May 17.

“He was dominant throughout the whole game,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We can’t ask for anything more from him, we really can’t.”

The Associated Press

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