(AP) — After suffering perhaps their most disappointing defeat of the season in the series opener in Atlanta, the San Francisco Giants have a chance to bounce back against the pitcher with the most losses on the Braves’ staff.
Shelby Miller, however, hasn’t pitched like someone with a losing record and has been the victim of some of the worst luck in the last century.
Losers of two in a row for the first time in a month, the Giants try to get back on track Tuesday night against Miller, who is seeking his first win in 2 1/2 months.
San Francisco (57-48) looked as if it would easily gain ground on the idle Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, leading 6-0 after five innings and ahead by two in the ninth.
With two outs in the ninth, though, A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer to tie things up, and after the Giants took the lead in the 12th, 30-year-old rookie Adonis Garcia hit a walkoff two-run shot to hand San Francisco a 9-8 loss.
“To get out to a big lead and let it go to waste and then to battle back in extras and still end up losing, it’s definitely disappointing,” Brandon Crawford said.
The Giants dropped back-to-back games for the first time since a seven-game skid June 30-July 6 to fall three behind the Dodgers.
The Braves (48-58), meanwhile, won their second in a row following a 1-9 stretch.
“To be down 6-0, it speaks highly of this team,” said Jace Peterson, who is 6 for 9 with two homers and six RBIs in the last two games. ” … Hopefully we can keep it going.”
The news wasn’t as good for Atlanta on Tuesday. The Braves placed first baseman Freddie Freeman on the disabled list with an oblique injury suffered when he fouled a ball off in Monday’s opener.
Freeman missed 30 games earlier this season with a wrist injury and the Braves went 13-17. In 76 games, he is batting .284 with 14 home runs and 45 RBIs.
San Francisco, meanwhile, looks to bounce back after wasting a two-homer game from Crawford and a home runand three RBIs from Buster Posey.
Crawford is batting .423 with four home runs in his last seven games against the Braves, while Posey is hitting .437 with 16 RBIs in his last 17 contests overall. Crawford is 3 for 8 against Miller (5-8, 2.44 ERA) and Posey 1 for 9 in their matchups.
Miller’s record is an anomaly for a pitcher with such a low ERA. His .385 winning percentage is the worst by a pitcher with a sub-2.50 ERA in at least 15 starts since 1917, when Larry Cheney went 7-12 with a 2.38 mark in 24 starts for the Brooklyn Robins and Joe Bush was 10-17 with a 2.42 in 31 starts for the Philadelphia Athletics.
Miller has received zero runs of support in six of his last eight starts and was backed by a total of four in the other two. That’s left him with an 0-6 record despite a respectable 3.17 ERA. The All-Star hasn’t won since May 17, with the Braves losing 11 of those 13 starts.
The second start of the winless stretch came in San Francisco on May 28, when he permitted a run over seven innings in a 7-0 loss.
Although the lineup hasn’t been producing, it isn’t entirely to blame. The right-hander has allowed career highs of 11 hits in two of his last four starts – both on the road – and also gave up four runs over six innings in Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Philadelphia.
Returning to Turner Field may help given his 1.89 home ERA – ninth-best in the majors.
Jake Peavy (2-4, 4.12) takes the hill at Turner Field for the first time since April 2006 looking to build on his best outing of the season.
Peavy gave up four hits and walked none in six innings of Wednesday’s 5-0 win over Milwaukee. The righty has a 2.84 ERA in five starts since coming off the disabled list.
Peavy’s former batterymate with the Chicago White Sox has been on a tear at the plate. Pierzynski finished with four hits Monday and is batting .459 in his last nine games.
Updated August 4, 2015