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SF Giants lead for 8 innings, but lose to Braves on Eddie Rosario’s late home run

SF Giants lead for 8 innings, but lose to Braves on Eddie Rosario’s late home run

ATLANTA — The Giants’ bats came alive, Logan Webb left with a lead, and it still wasn’t enough Saturday night.

In a devastating 6-5 defeat to the MLB-best Atlanta Braves, the Giants trailed for all of four outs.

Capping a 4-for-4 performance, Eddie Rosario hammered a first-pitch sinker from Tyler Rogers in the eighth inning well over the center field wall for a go-ahead two-run home run, measured at an estimated 441 feet. Answering to chants of “Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!” Rosario emerged from the first-base dugout to take a curtain call for his game-deciding hit and received more adoring chants from the sold-out crowd of 42,744 as he took the field for the top of the ninth.

The home run erased a gritty effort from Logan Webb, who completed six innings while holding Atlanta’s dangerous lineup to four runs, and a rare strong night from their lineup, which produced 11 hits, tied for their most in a game since June 23.

The Giants’ slide continued, losing for their 10th time in their past 13 games, dropping them only five games above .500 and in increasingly precarious playoff position. They have won just one of their past 13 games away from Oracle Park, dating back to July 19.

Before the omniscient voice in the press box could announce the time and weather conditions at first pitch — 7:22 local, 87 degrees — LaMonte Wade Jr. had launched it over the right-field wall, the sixth time a Giant has homered on the first pitch of the game.

The two clubs went back and forth from there.

With Wade’s homer setting the tone, the Giants led off three of the next five innings with hits and, in a marked improvement from their recent play, were able to capitalize each time. They led 1-0 after the first, 2-0 after the top of the second, 4-2 after batting in the fourth and 5-4 after their turn in the sixth inning.

J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto each finished with a pair hits and scored a run.

Davis led off the second with a double, advanced to third on a single from Blake Sabol and scored on a ground ball out from Johan Camargo. Conforto started the sixth with the first of three straight singles, loading the bases for Camargo, who again bounced one to second base that turned into a run-scoring double play.

Conforto also scored on a sac fly from Davis in a two-run fourth that was started by a single from Joc Pederson. Over his past seven games, Conforto has recorded multiple hits in five of them and is batting .478 (11-for-23) with three of those hits going for extra bases.

But the Braves showed Webb why they have scored the most runs in baseball, answering almost every time.

Webb completed six innings but allowed four runs, all earned, only the eighth time in 26 starts that he hasn’t recorded a quality start (his 18 are tied with Gerrit Cole for the MLB lead).

His sinker was particularly lethal, using it to freeze four batters for strike three — all five of his strikeouts came looking — but allowed Atlanta to pepper nine hits, tying the score at 2 in the second and pulling even again at 4 with runs in the fourth and the fifth.

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Ronald Acuña Jr. gave the Giants a taste of their own medicine, unloading Webb’s first pitch of the fifth inning. It was a well-located changeup, down and away, but the National League MVP front-runner spanked it over the right-field wall to tie the score at 4.

It looked like the Braves were primed to answer again in the sixth after the Giants took a 5-4 lead. Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario led off the inning with back-to-back singles — their second and third hits of the game, respectively — putting the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base with no outs.

But Webb used his sinker to graze the outside corner to strike out catcher Travis d’Arnaud for the first out, then went back to his bread-and-butter — the ground ball — to induce an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Orlando Arcia, preserving the one-run lead.

Notable

LaMonte Wade Jr. exited the game in the seventh inning after appearing to tweak his bothersome right side swinging on a single. The injury has nagged at Wade since mid-June and kept him unavailable for some games but never sent him to the injured list. He was replaced by pinch-runner Casey Schmitt, who may or may not have arrived at the ballpark by first pitch after being called up from Triple-A Sacramento.