Braves' Freeman '100 percent go' on moving to third base


The inspired rookie hit a long pinch-hit home run, one of the Atlanta Braves' four long balls, and sparked an eight-run fifth inning that carried Atlanta to a 12-11 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday at SunTrust Park.

He immediately came out firing strikes, and fell into a familiar pattern for Giants' pitchers by allowing a single on an 0-2 that was far too hittable, but it didn't take long for him to settle in.

The Giants went on to score five runs in the inning, also taking advantage of throwing errors by reliever Ian Krol and first baseman Matt Adams.

Newcomb, who walked one and struck out three, retired his last 13 batters before being pulled after 80 pitches.

Matt Adams hit a two-run homer and Tyler Flowers also homered off Jeff Samardzija. "It's our third comeback on the road trip and we've lost them all".

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Freeman took grounders at third base Wednesday and said he "felt pretty good just moving over to the other side of the field".

Arodys Vizcaino threw a wild pitch following a triple by Denard Span to give the Giants their run in the eighth. He had eight strikeouts. A move with Gillaspie could be connected to the status of 3B Eduardo Nunez (left hamstring), who likely would need to show improvement Friday to avoid the DL.

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Last year, concerns about the Zika virus prompted Major League Baseball to move a two-game series between Pittsburgh and the Marlins out of Puerto Rico.

Freeman, who has been sidelined for more than a month because of a broken wrist, told reporters Wednesday that his "mindset is to return as a third baseman".

LHP Madison Bumgarner, injured in a dirt-bike accident April 20 in Colorado, threw 35 pitches Wednesday in his second simulated game at Scottsdale, Ariz.

Freeman was well on his way to another impressive season before breaking his wrist in May. Because the Braves scheduled a night game - something that will be illegal under the collective bargaining agreement next season - the Giants already knew their wheels wouldn't hit the tarmac at SFO until after 3 a.m. Friday, and they would have to sleep fast before a homestand opener against the New York Mets.

The start of the game was delayed by rain. A review confirmed the homer.

"It says a lot about him that the best player is going to do anything he can to make this team better", Snitker said.

By the end, the Giants just wanted to get home. He was the losing pitcher despite allowing only one run in seven innings in a 2-0 loss to the Braves on May 26 in San Francisco.

The Giants' 13th-year veteran entered his 15th start of the season with a 6.56 earned run average in his last nine starts and a 7.46 earned run average in seven road starts this season. For his career, he is 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA against San Francisco.