Braves beat ex-GreenJacket, Giants

ATLANTA 4, SAN FRANCISCO 1

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SAN FRANCISCO --- Chipper Jones hit a two-run double, Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman each singled in runs during a decisive four-run third inning to back Tommy Hanson and the Atlanta Braves beat the San Francisco Giants 4-1 on Friday night.

The Braves knocked former Augusta GreenJacket Madison Bumgarner (0-3) out early and showed no signs of fatigue following a 5-3, 12-inning loss at Los Angeles on Thursday, taking the opener of a weekend series and rematch of last fall's NL division series won by the World Series champion Giants.

Hanson (2-3), who had a no-decision in Game 2 of the playoffs against the Giants, struck out seven and walked one in seven strong innings as the Braves won for just the second time in their last six games.

Bumgarner was the winning pitcher in the Game 4 division series clincher at Turner Field as San Francisco advanced to face the Phillies in the NLCS, becoming the youngest pitcher in franchise history to win a postseason game at 21 years, 71 days. But he is still looking for his first win of 2011 after four starts.

San Francisco returned home to AT&T Park for a quick three-game homestand with the Braves during a stretch with 16 of 19 games on the road. Next up is a 10-game East Coast road trip through Pittsburgh, Washington and New York.

Even with the Braves in town, there was hardly the hype that came in the team's first six-game homestand. That featured three days of World Series celebrations, then three games with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers - including a tribute to longtime fan Bryan Stow, who was severely beaten outside Dodger Stadium after the March 31 opener.

"Things have gotten back to normal," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

This time, there was no Bobby Cox standing atop the opposite dugout. The longtime manager retired after last season and was replaced by Fredi Gonzalez.

"I know Fredi well. He's a friend," Bochy said. "It's still going to be strange for me to look over to that dugout and not see Bobby. I'm really going to miss him."

Every game in that NLDS between these clubs was decided by one run. The Braves got to Bumgarner in a hurry in the third, with Nate McLouth reaching on a leadoff walk and Martin Prado drawing a free pass one out later to set up the RBIs by Heyward and Jones.

Giants shortstop Miguel Tejada committed a fielding error that kept the inning going. That was after the 2002 AL MVP stole a hit from Alex Gonzalez to end the second, facing the outfield as he ran the ball down in shallow left before making a lunging, backhanded catch. Tejada somersaulted after the play.

San Francisco outscored Colorado 14-4 in the first two games of its series earlier this week at Coors Field before losing 10-2 on Wednesday.

But the Giants couldn't muster much of anything against Hanson until Pat Burrell's RBI groundout in the seventh scored Pablo Sandoval, who hit a one-out double. That was the third and final hit allowed by Hanson.

Atlanta's Jonny Venters tested his sore arm in a side session, then relieved Hanson and pitched a perfect eighth.

Craig Kimbrel bounced back from his first blown save Thursday with a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save in six chances.

Notes: Atlanta is 6-1 in the first game of a series this year. ... The Braves recalled RHP Cory Gearrin from Triple-A Gwinnett to bolster their taxed bullpen and optioned OF Matt Young to Gwinnett.


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