Giants Lose Heartbreaker to Braves as Romo Blows Save


June 15, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton (2) celebrates a home run with catcher Brian McCann (16) in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Up by a run, the San Francisco Giants handed their closer the ball in the bottom of the ninth inning, and he blew the save.

Sergio Romo allowed the tying and winning runs to cross the plate as the Braves walked off in dramatic fashion, defeating the Giants 6-5 on Saturday afternoon.

After walking Evan Gattis with one out, Joaquin Arias committed an uncharacteristic error when he couldn’t handle a ground ball from Andrelton Simmons, and Jason Heyward followed with a single that loaded the bases.

Romo then faced Justin Upton, and although he thought he had him struck out on a close pitch, the umpire didn’t call it and Upton wound up coaxing a walk. The next batter, Freddie Freeman, singled to right to win the game.

The Giants got on the board first with a three-run third inning.

Brandon Crawford singled to lead off the third, advanced to second on Gaudin’s sacrifice bunt and moved over to third on Mike Minor’s wild pitch.

Then, the Giants mustered a two-out rally, starting with Andres Torres’s RBI double. Tony Abreu followed with a the same result, driving in Torres to make the score 2-1. After the Braves elected to intentionally walk Buster Posey, Hunter Pence dumped a blooped an RBI single into right field.

Gaudin, meanwhile, struggled with his command. His walk total wouldn’t suggest wildnesses, but he missed his spots, and the Braves’ hitters just missed them, flying out to the warning track on multiple occasions.

B.J. Upton didn’t fall into that trap.

Upton swatted a solo home run in the first inning, and a two-run homer in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 5-4.

Braves starter Mike Minor surrendered two more runs in the fifth inning. Posey launched an outside fastball off the center field wall, scoring one. Pence then notched the Giants’ fifth run with a sacrifice fly to medium-deep right field.

Manager Bruce Bochy called upon Jean Machi in the sixth inning after Gaudin had just allowed a two-run homer to Upton. Machi walked Dan Uggla, struck out Chris Johnson and allowed a single to Jordan Schafer before inducing a critical inning-ending double play to Andrelton Simmons.

Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt were both solid in relief to follow up Machi, but it was Romo who was the weak link, allowing his third blown save of the year.