Giants’ debut at SunTrust Park a dud, Braves cruise to a 9-0 shutout win

June 19, 2017

San Francisco Giants, MLB

AP17171052286542

Atlanta Braves third baseman Johan Camargo (17) scores on an Ender Inciarte double as the ball gets away from San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) in the third inning of a base ball game Monday, June 19, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

By Morris Phillips

In the previous installment of the Giants’ 162-part docudrama, the curtain fell just as the team was being cut up at Coors Field. When the story resumed Monday, the Giants were again in peril, this time chopped up at the Chop House.

By no means pretty, and unquestionably hard to watch, those that ventured near the Giants were again treated to the athletic equivalent of a high-speed commuter train demolishing a tricycle, in an embarrassing 9-0 loss to the Braves.

R.A. Dickey, now 42 years old, and forever in search of a rhythm with his signature knuckleball, shut down the Giants, allowing just three hits in seven innings. In a miraculous turnabout, Dickey produced his best start of the season, one turn after his worst, when he allowed eight earned runs to the Nationals, the most runs Dickey had surrendered in a start in more than two years.

Afterwards, Dickey said the about face had been in the works for a couple of appearances, and he said so without snickering or referencing the arrival of the woeful Giants, losers of seven straight.

“You know it’s good when they’re swinging and missing,” Dickey said.

“[The knuckleball] was coming out consistent, especially after the first inning, when it looked like it could have gone either way,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He seemed to have a feel for it the whole night. ”

Bruce Bochy stubbornly penciled in his veteran-laden lineup with Gorkys Hernandez the only position player that did not project to start on Opening Day.  After a 44-minute rain delay, Denard Span led off with a double, and Eduardo Nunez singled to put runners at the corners. But Dickey recovered, retiring Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence to end the inning.

“We had our guys up there, and we couldn’t get a run in,” Bochy said. “It was downhill from there.”

Dickey would go on to retire 18 of the next 21 batters. Not among the 18, Brandon Belt would get thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double in the second inning.

The Giants have been quiet offensively quite a bit in June. The loss marked the sixth time in their previous 11 games that they scored two runs or less and lost.

Johnny Cueto pitched into the seventh inning but allowed Ender Inciarte’s RBI double in the third, and Matt Adams’ solo shot in the fourth. With the loss, Cueto fell to 5-7 on the season.

Matt Moore takes the mound on Tuesday in a matchup with the Braves’ Julio Teheran.

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