Lee County native Buster Posey was one of eight Giants to get at least one hit off the Braves' pitching staff in San Francisco's 10-4 win on Wednesday. (Reuters)
SAN FRANCISCO -- A .122 hitter and a 6-foot-4 slugging outfielder do not often make great 1-2 lineup combinations, but it sure worked Wednesday.
Leadoff man Gregor Blanco reached base three times, stole three bases and scored three runs, and No. 2 hitter Hunter Pence had a home run among his four hits as the San Francisco Giants collected 15 hits in a 10-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
The win in the afternoon affair allowed the Giants to win two of three from the Braves and capture their major-league-leading ninth series of the young season.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford drove in three runs with a home run, double and single. First baseman Michael Morse also homered, left fielder Tyler Colvin had a double and a single, and third baseman Pablo Sandoval chipped in with two singles as the Giants made it five of six over the Braves during a 13-day stretch.
The Giants had not won two series from the Braves in the same season since 2008.
"Everyone chipped in today," Crawford said of an offense that produced a season-high run total at AT&T Park this season. "He (Blanco) got us going."
All three of Blanco's steals came in the first two innings, during which he accounted for half the club's run total that produced a 4-2 lead after the Giants had fallen two down in the top of the first.
"Stealing bases, getting walks ... I had to remind myself: This is who you are," noted Blanco, who was starting in place of regular center fielder Angel Pagan, who was resting a sore knee.
Pence's second hit, a one-out single, led to the go-ahead run in the last of the fourth inning after the Braves had rallied into a 4-4 tie.
Catcher Buster Posey and Sandoval followed Pence's hit with singles of their own against Braves starter Julio Teheran (2-3), with Sandoval's hit scoring Pence to push the Giants in front for good at 5-4.
Blanco, who entered the game hitting just .122, singled in Crawford, who had doubled, to make it 6-4 in the fifth against Atlanta reliever Alex Wood. After Blanco stole his third base of the day, Pence capped a three-RBI game with a single that scored Blanco.
Pence batted three times with Blanco aboard and took pitches on every occasion in an effort to allow the speedy outfielder to steal a base. Pence got hits in two of those three at-bats, including a two-run homer after a Blanco walk in the bottom of the first.
"Blanco being in there and stealing bases gives you more opportunities to hit," Pence said. "Pitchers have to worry about him stealing, about slide-stepping. ... That's part of a team helping each other out. Blanco and Pagan do that."
Morse's home run, his team-leading ninth of the season, added an insurance run in the sixth. Crawford's two-run blast, his second "Splash Hit" of the year into San Francisco Bay, completed the scoring in the eighth.
The Giants benefited from problems that Teheran had gripping the ball. Having entered the game 8-for-8 in quality starts this season, he could not get out of the fourth inning this time around. He gave up a season-high-tying five runs (four earned), seven hits and a career-high-tying five walks, striking out four.
"We went out to see what it was," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of his starter's constant fidgeting during the Giants' three-run first inning. "Both pitchers struggled today."
Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (5-3) benefited from the offensive fireworks. He won for the third straight time in May despite giving up four runs and seven hits in five innings. The left-hander walked one and struck out five.
Right-handers Juan Gutierrez and Jean Machi and lefty Javier Lopez combined for four hitless innings in relief of Bumgarner.
Third baseman Chris Johnson had two doubles and two RBIs for the Braves, whose seven hits included four doubles and a triple. Second baseman Tyler Pastornicky had both of the Braves' singles in the game.
"We had a couple good offensive days," Gonzalez said of the final two games of the series that included a 5-0 win on Tuesday night. "We've seen some good at-bats from people. So you're seeing some life."