Braves can't capitalize on chances vs. Giants

Braves can't capitalize on chances vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- On a day when Braves knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was knocked around for seven runs, Atlanta's offense didn't provide much of a silver lining during Sunday's 7-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp, batting in the three and four spots respectively, combined for five of Atlanta's seven hits but it wasn't nearly enough as the Braves repeatedly came up empty in key situations while losing their second straight to San Francisco.

Matt Adams, who has provided a big boost since his arrival from St. Louis on May 20, struck out looking to end the first with runners on first and third.

Ender Inciarte doubled with two outs in the fifth but was stranded there.

Rio Ruiz left two runners on in the fourth when he grounded out then struck out swinging in the sixth, stranding Kemp at third base.

• The Braves put two on with none out in the eighth but Kemp struck out swinging and Adams grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Giants turn two in 8th

"We had some chances to score some runs and we didn't," Kemp said. "I think in this series we didn't really do too good of a job of getting guys in with runners in scoring position."

That's an understatement.

Atlanta was hitless in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position Sunday and went just 3-for-25 in those situations during the three-game series at AT&T Park. Conversely, San Francisco was 6 of 15 with runners in scoring position.

"We just couldn't get a hit to keep the line moving at all," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said.

It didn't help that the Braves lost one of their best hitters in the middle of Sunday's game. Second baseman Brandon Phillips fouled a ball off his knee in the third inning and was eventually removed for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson in the fifth.

"It just started stiffening up," Snitker said. "We wanted to get him out of there and get some treatment on it, not take any chances. We'll just see how he feels tomorrow."

Snitker discusses loss to Giants

Atlanta's lone run came in the sixth when Markakis collected his second single off San Francisco starter Johnny Cueto, moved to third on Kemp's double and scored on Kurt Suzuki's groundout to short.

Kemp's three hits off Cueto -- two singles and a double -- raised his average to .353 against the two-time All-Star while Markakis has reached safely in 22 of his last 24 games.

That's little consolation, however, to a team that was outscored 13-6 in the three games by a Giants ballclub that went into the series among the lowest scoring in Major League Baseball.

"We just have to get it done, plain and simple," Kemp said. "We have to hit with guys in scoring position. We have to score runs."

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