Command betrays Foltynewicz vs. Giants

Command betrays Foltynewicz vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mike Foltynewicz's string of strong starts came to a crashing end when the Atlanta right-hander left a hanging 2-0 slider over the plate and Nick Hundley crushed it for a home run in the second inning of the Braves' 6-3 loss to the Giants on Saturday night.

A changeup on the outside of the plate to Brandon Belt two innings later had the same result and effectively ended Foltynewicz's chance of extending his season-high three-game winning streak.

"Everything was up," Foltynewicz said. "After the first pitch, everything was up ... fastball, slider, changeup. They were ready for everything that was in the zone and they did what they had to do with it."

Foltynewicz (3-5) had surrendered only two home runs over his previous 17 innings while giving up six runs (five earned). He nearly doubled that in his four innings of work against the Giants, allowing five runs on seven hits including the two long balls by Hundley and Belt.

Hundley's two-run jack

Most of the problems came from Foltynewicz's inability to spot his offspeed pitches. He struggled with his command on the slider and curve much of the night, allowing the Giants the freedom to sit and wait on Foltynewicz's fastball.

"He kind of struggled with his secondary stuff tonight, I thought," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "The feel wasn't real good, it didn't seem like. The location of it, the command of it, the whole thing, just wasn't real good tonight."

That's been an ongoing issue for the 25-year-old, who was 2-0 against the Giants in 2016 before getting roughed up Saturday night.

"The past two, three games I've been kind of really battling, just trying to get the slider and the curveball out front, the mechanical issues there," Foltynewicz said. "It's nothing to worry about. I'll work on it in the 'pen and go from there."

Foltynewicz only walked one but his command issues made it easy on the Giants hitters.

"When guys can eliminate pitches and just sit on fastballs, and you make a few mistakes, they can take advantage of them pretty quick," said Braves catcher Tyler Flowers.

Even after giving up the two-run home run to Hundley and the leadoff shot to Belt in the fourth, Snitker thought Foltynewicz was still in line to turn things around. Then he allowed a two-out, two-strike RBI single to San Francisco starter Ty Blach that put the Giants up 5-0.

"He let the pitcher get off the hook," Snitker said. "That's big right there. You get that pitcher out and you're in the game, he's still in the game. That's for me the biggest at-bat of the night right there."

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Braves on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.