ATLANTA (AP) — There have been too few opportunities for the Braves to celebrate this season, especially at home.
Freddie Freeman and his teammates made the most of Wednesday night’s chance.
Freeman homered leading off the 11th inning to give Atlanta a 5-4 comeback victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
Freeman was swarmed by teammates on the field. His homer to right-center off Derek Law (1-1) came after Giants closer Santiago Casilla couldn’t hold a 4-3 lead in the ninth.
The Braves have won four of their last six in this 10-game homestand, including two of three against the Giants. Their 6-22 home record remains the worst in the majors.
“Obviously you don’t want to get off to the start we did this season,” Freeman said. “To finally kind of turn it around a little bit at home, where we were struggling the most, it’s nice.”
Freeman hit a hanging curveball from Law for the third game-ending homer of his career.
“I had a really good feeling right there because that’s where he shines,” said Braves interim manager Brian Snitker of Freeman.
The Giants lost right fielder Hunter Pence to a right hamstring strain after he stopped about halfway down the first base line while running out a slow grounder to third base in the fourth inning. Pence grabbed the back of his leg as he leaned over in pain before being helped off the field.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Pence probably is headed for the disabled list. Pence had a more positive outlook.
“I’m feeling optimistic,” Pence said. “I’m able to walk on it pretty good right now. We don’t know what it is just yet.”
Pence said he will have a MRI on Thursday morning.
Pence returned to the lineup on Saturday after not starting in six straight games with a right hamstring strain. Bochy said this injury is in the same area.
San Francisco placed outfielder Angel Pagan on the 15-day disabled list on May 24 with a left hamstring injury.
Pence is tied for the team high with seven homers and leads with 36 RBIs. Jarrett Parker replaced Pence in right field.
Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer for San Francisco.
Chris Withrow (1-1) pitched a perfect 11th inning for Atlanta to pick up the win.
With one out in the ninth, Casilla hit Adonis Garcia with a pitch. Garcia moved to third when Nick Markakis singled to center field and scored the tying run on Casilla’s wild pitch to Kelly Johnson.
Giants rookie Albert Suarez allowed three runs and three hits in five-plus innings in his first start in the majors. Suarez drove in a run with his first hit, an infield single in the sixth.
FROM VENEZUELA TO THE MAJORS
Suarez faced Atlanta’s Williams Perez in a matchup of right-handers from Venezuela. Perez allowed four runs, three earned, in 5 2/3 innings.
Suarez, 26, gave up a run-scoring triple to Mallex Smith before he was pulled without recording an out in the sixth.
Giants: Duffy, who left Monday’s game at Colorado after being hit by a pitch on his left wrist, returned to the lineup at third base. He drove in a run with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly on Tuesday night.
Braves: 2B Gordon Beckham left the game with a left hamstring strain after hitting into a double play in the sixth. His status is day to day.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-2, 2.12 ERA) will put a personal five-game winning streak on the line in Thursday’s finale of the four-game series. He is 5-0 with a 1.28 ERA in his last seven starts — all wins for the Giants.
Braves: Rookie RHP Aaron Blair (0-3, 6.67) has a tough matchup in his search for his first win. It will be Blair’s first start against the Giants. Blair has a 4.58 ERA in four home starts.