Burrell’s homer helps Giants take 4-0 lead over Braves after 3 innings

By Josh Dubow, AP
Friday, October 8, 2010

Giants lead Braves 4-0 after 3 innings in Game 2

SAN FRANCISCO — Pat Burrell hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was ejected after arguing a call in the second as the San Francisco Giants took a 4-0 lead after three innings in Game 2 of their NL division series against the Braves on Friday night.

After striking out 14 times in a 1-0 loss to Tim Lincecum and the Giants in the series opener, the Braves continued on the wrong track in Game 2. Atlanta is still looking for its first run after being held scoreless through 12 innings by Lincecum and Cain.

And the Braves had to play most of Game 2 without their manager, who was ejected for the third time from a postseason game. Cox, who is retiring after the season, has also been ejected from a record 158 regular-season games.

The latest came after Alex Gonzalez was called out by umpire Paul Emmel after Giants shortstop Juan Uribe made a diving stop and threw to first base in the second inning. The throw beat Gonzalez, but replays showed that Aubrey Huff’s foot might have been pulled off the bag.

Emmel was the umpire at second base in Game 1 who called Giants rookie Buster Posey safe on a stolen base when replays showed he was out. Posey later scored the only run of the game.

Cox did not argue in the opener, but this time he came out of the dugout after first-base coach Glenn Hubbard started arguing. Cox argued for a bit and then was ejected by Emmel immediately after throwing his hat to the ground.

The Braves had bigger problems than the umpires as their hitters were unable to generate much offense off Cain and Tommy Hanson struggled in his first career postseason appearance.

Freddy Sanchez singled with one out in the first off Hanson. Posey then drew a four-pitch walk with two outs in the first. Burrell hit the next pitch from Hanson into the left-field seats for his fifth career postseason home run.

The Giants added another run in the second when Cody Ross hustled for a one-out double to left field and scored on Cain’s single to center. Cain is the first Giants pitcher to drive in a run in the postseason since Johnny Antonelli did it on Sept. 30, 1954, in Game 2 of the World Series against Cleveland.

It was a rough start to the postseason for Hanson, who already hurt himself when he hit a ball in batting practice that bounced off the plate and hit him in the area of his right eye on Thursday night.

The Giants were in their traditional Friday night orange jerseys as they have all season at home. San Francisco is 9-4 on “Orange Fridays” but lost their last four times in the uniform. Despite the recent slump, the players chose to wear them for this game. It was a sea of orange at the game with many of the fans dressed in that color and others waving towels.

For the second straight night, Omar Infante opened the game with a hit for the Braves but Atlanta was unable to score. Cain also walked Brian McCann with two outs but got out of the inning when Melky Cabrera grounded out. Infante was stranded at second after a leadoff double in the opener.

The most noteworthy play of the half-inning came right after Infante’s single when Jason Heyward hit a popup in foul territory between third and home. Posey and third baseman Pablo Sandoval both went for the ball and had a jarring collision as Posey made the catch.

Both players fell to the ground in pain, but Posey managed to hang onto the ball. They both remained in the game after being checked out by the training staff.

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