The last time the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves met, the Giants completed a four-game NL division series victory en route to winning the World Series.
Six months later, the Giants will look to bounce back from a rare recent loss at the Braves' expense Friday night in San Francisco.
Each contest in the October series was decided by one run, including San Francisco's 3-2 victory in Game 4. Madison Bumgarner won the clincher, and the left-hander will take the mound again hoping to help the Giants (10-8) win for the seventh time in nine games.
San Francisco, however, is coming off a 10-2 loss Wednesday at Colorado, and the Giants emerged from the game with doubts about the health of two players.
Aaron Rowand left in the fourth inning after being hit by a pitch, and Pablo Sandoval was a late scratch after straining his right triceps during batting practice.
Catcher Buster Posey, who appears unhurt despite being struck on the top of his left hand by Ty Wigginton's follow-through in the second inning, drove in both runs. Cody Ross went 0 for 4 in his first appearance of the season after recovering from a calf injury.
Starter Matt Cain was roughed up in the loss and said an extra day to recover may be what the Giants need.
"Maybe we'll get kind of lucky that (Thursday was) a day off," Cain told the team's official website.
Bumgarner (0-2, 7.36 ERA) will also be looking to bounce back from a sluggish start. His disappointing April continued as he allowed four runs and eight hits through 6 2-3 innings Sunday during a 6-5, 12-inning defeat against Arizona - San Francisco's only other loss in its last eight games.
Bumgarner has never faced the Braves in the regular season, but he held Atlanta to two runs in six innings of Game 4.
Tommy Hanson (1-3, 3.86) started Atlanta's lone victory in the series - a 5-4 road win in 11 innings in Game 2 - and will take the mound Friday hoping to rebound from his latest loss.
The right-hander allowed three runs and struck out nine through five innings Sunday in a 3-2 defeat against the New York Mets.
"I missed my spot a couple times," Hanson told the Braves' official website. "Really, looking back, there was only a pitch or two I would take back. It took me all of the first inning to get locked in and make some pitches. I felt really good as a whole. I just didn't get the results I wanted."
Hanson is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two career regular-season starts against the Giants, and Ross and Sandoval are a combined 0 for 14 with seven strikeouts against him.
The Braves (8-12) have lost four of five after falling 5-3 in 12 innings Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jason Heyward did not start and came on as a pinch-runner in the ninth, fouling out in his only at-bat in the 11th. Heyward, who finished second behind Posey for last season's NL rookie of the year award, is mired in an 0-for-14 slump and is hitting .188. He went 2 for 16 (.125) against San Francisco in the playoffs.
The Braves won three of the last four regular-season meetings with the Giants in 2010.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved