Giants bring hot bats to three-game series at Braves

The San Francisco Giants will test their new-found offensive muscle when they open a three-game road series on Tuesday against the pitching depth of the Atlanta Braves.

The Giants beat the rival Los Angeles Dodgers 10-4 on Sunday to win their three-game series. They have won five of their seven since ending a five-game losing streak.

The Braves lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Sunday in their effort to sweep the three-game set. Atlanta is 11-6 over the last 17 games.

This will be the first meeting between the Giants and Braves this year. Atlanta won four of the six games last year and took two of three at home.

The pitching matchup features a pair of right-handers — Atlanta’s Reynaldo Lopez (6-2, 1.70 ERA) against San Francisco rookie Hayden Birdsong (0-0, 5.79).

The Giants scored 21 runs against the Dodgers, the most in a three-game series against Los Angeles since Oracle Park opened in 2000. In Sunday’s game, each of the nine players in the starting lineup collected a hit, something that hasn’t happened since June 11, 2023, against the Chicago Cubs.

San Francisco has scored at least three runs in each of its last 11 games, the longest active streak in the major leagues.

The Giants hottest hitter has been third baseman Matt Chapman. He hit safely in all seven games on the homestand, batting .385 with three homers, two doubles, seven runs and nine RBI. Chapman hit his 11th homer on Sunday.

Designated hitter Jorge Soler, a former Brave, finished June with a .284 average, an .845 OPS, 10 doubles, three homers, 15 RBIs and 21 runs in 26 games.

The injury-riddled Atlanta lineup continues to battle inconsistency without injured outfielders Michael Harris II — who is expected to return from a hamstring strain shortly after the All-Star Game — and Ronald Acuna Jr., out of the season following ACL surgery.

The Braves continue to be led by designated hitter Marcell Ozuna, who ranks second in the National League in home runs (21) and RBI (67). Atlanta has scored two or fewer runs 24 times this season, matching their total from 2023.

“Every year is different,” Atlanta third baseman Austin Riley said. “You go through your challenges. I feel like we still haven’t fully clicked offensively up and down the lineup.”

Riley, sidelined for more than two weeks with an oblique issue in May, is beginning to show his form. Riley has six homers over the last 16 games and hit .289 in June.

Lopez has won four in a row and is coming off a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday that saw him allow two runs on four hits, four walks and five strikeouts in five innings. He would be the major league ERA leader but has thrown only 79 1/3 innings, 2 2/3 innings short of meeting the minimum requirement.

Lopez has made four career appearances (one start) against the Giants, posting a 4.50 ERA without a decision. His last start against San Francisco came in 2016.

Birdsong will be making his second career start. He made his debut on Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs and allowed three runs on six hits, three walks and five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.

“He’s got legit stuff,” Giants catcher Patrick Bailey said. “Legit stuff. We’ve just got to keep it on the plate.”

–Field Level Media