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Giants host Braves in matchup of division leaders
(SportsNetwork.com) - A battle of division leaders will take place Monday, when the Atlanta Braves open a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
The National League East-leading Braves finished off a nine-game homestand (4-5) by taking all three matchups with the Chicago Cubs this weekend at Turner Field. They broke out the brooms with Sunday's 5-2 win, as Jason Heyward and Evan Gattis both homered and starting pitcher Aaron Harang struck out nine batters over six innings.
Gattis gave Harang a 3-2 lead with a leadoff homer in the fourth inning.
"The ball's not traveling too well in Atlanta but I thought I got it pretty good," Gattis said of his home run.
Harang allowed six hits and two runs to improve to 4-3 and four relievers kept the Cubs off the scoreboard. David Carpenter recorded his second save by hurling a scoreless ninth inning.
Braves outfielder Justin Upton did not start Sunday because of a lower back issue after being hit by a pitch from Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija on Saturday. Upton could be back in the lineup Monday.
Atlanta, which has won four of five games after losing seven in a row, will send Gavin Floyd to the mound Monday for his second start of the season. Floyd made his Atlanta debut in last Tuesday's 2-1 win over St. Louis and delivered seven strong innings of one-run ball with five K's and two walks.
Floyd was returning from Tommy John surgery and the right-hander has won both of his starts against San Francisco.
The Braves will also visit the Cardinals on this road trip.
San Francisco currently sits atop the NL West standings and has won 13 of the last 17 games. The club won three of four games at Los Angeles and took the series with Sunday's 7-4 in 10 innings.
Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez had RBI singles and Buster Posey scored on a wild pitch for the Giants, who have won eight of their 12 series this season and have also gone a season-high five consecutive games without an error.
Brandon Hicks hit a two-run homer and Sandoval finished with three hits and two RBI. Angel Pagan added two hits and three runs scored, as the Giants improved to 7-3 in a stretch of 17 games in 17 days.
"It was nice to see him go out there and get three knocks," Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson said about Sandoval.
Hudson started against the Dodgers and did not figure into the decision with six innings of two-run ball. Sergio Romo picked up the win in relief and Jean Machi nailed down his first save in the 11th.
The Giants went 7-3 on their road trip and will now play seven in a row at home versus Atlanta and Miami.
Taking the mound for San Francisco Monday will be Tim Lincecum. Lincecum was dealt a loss his last time out in a 4-3 setback at Pittsburgh and was touched for all four runs and eight hits in four innings. He was 2-0 in his previous four outings and dropped to 2-2 in seven starts with a 5.55 ERA.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner defeated Braves at Turner Field on May 2 by allowing just a run in six innings of a 2-1 win. Lincecum has made 14 career starts against the Braves and the right-hander has an 8-6 record with a 2.89 ERA.
San Francisco won all three games in Atlanta from May 2-4 and is 7-2 in the past nine encounters between the two clubs.
05/12 10:38:07 ET
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