Ty Blach doesn’t blow away hitters with his stuff or observers with his statistics. All he does is remain steady, a trait that the San Francisco Giants appreciated Saturday night in their 6-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
Blach took a three-hit shutout into the eighth inning before he finally faltered. He ultimately yielded two runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings, marking the fifth time in seven starts that he has worked at least seven innings while surrendering three or fewer earned runs. He also struck out a season-high five.
Blach’s 3.83 ERA is deceiving. He allowed 10 runs (eight earned) in three innings on May 6 at Cincinnati. Without that game, his ERA as a starter is 2.33.
Braves manager Brian Snitker appreciated Blach’s finesse.
“He was a little here, there and just a tough guy to get a hold of,” Snitker said. “That’s the first time we’ve seen that this year, that type of left-hander. That’s only the fourth [left-handed] starter we’ve faced all year, I think. Guys like that can give you trouble.”
The Giants also revived their offense while ending a four-game losing streak. Having accumulated six runs in their previous four games, they matched that total by relying on an unusual burst of power against Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, who allowed five of San Francisco’s runs in four innings. Nick Hundley’s two-run homer in the second inning opened the Giants’ scoring, which continued with three runs in the fourth. Brandon Belt’s 10th homer of the season launched that uprising. The Giants entered Saturday with a Major League-low 40 home runs.
The Braves brought the potential tying run to the plate with two outs, but Giants reliever Derek Law coaxed Matt Adams’ harmless grounder to first base.
“We made a run at it late but it’s one of them days again where we just got too far down too early,” Snitker said.
San Francisco signed Hundley as a free agent last offseason primarily for his offensive abilities. The Giants wanted a backup for Buster Posey who resembled Posey a little more in the batter’s box. They reasoned that Hundley, who reached double figures in homers in three of the previous four seasons, could fill that role. His season-high three-RBI night, which included a run-scoring single in the eighth inning, provided evidence that he can.
Adams seemed to be the right man for the Braves to have at bat in the eighth. The recent acquisition from St. Louis owned a five-game hitting streak, and five of his eight hits with Atlanta had gone for extra bases. With runners on second and third, another gapper would make it a one-run game. But Law won the confrontation by inducing Adams to roll over on a 94 mph fastball.
Blach stroked singles in the fourth and seventh innings, his first hits off a pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw. Blach collected two hits off Kershaw last Oct. 1 and added another earlier this season.
Blach was only the fourth left-handed starter the Braves have faced so far this season. They are 2-2 in those games.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (3-3) pitches the series finale at AT&T Park on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET. Dickey has a 2.88 career ERA against the Giants but has given up 12 earned runs over his last 24 1/3 innings overall.