ATLANTA (AP) — Lane Adams says he believes the baseball cliche that hitting is contagious.
In the Braves’ biggest inning in six years, the hot hitting spread all the way to his spot on the bench.
Adams delivered a pinch-hit, three-run homer in Atlanta’s eight-run fifth inning and the Braves held off San Francisco in the ninth to beat the Giants 12-11 in a rain-delayed game Thursday night.
It was the Braves’ most runs in an inning since they scored eight in the ninth at the Dodgers on April 19, 2011. Their nine hits in the inning were their most since April 7, 2004, when they had nine in the fourth against the Mets.
“When one guy gets going, the rest fall in line,” Adams said. “… It was a great inning.”
The big inning left Atlanta with a 12-6 lead. Braves manager Brian Snitker said the eight-run inning “was great” because “we needed them all.”
The homer was the first of Adams’ career.
The Braves won three of four in the series to cap San Francisco’s 1-7 road trip.
“You can look at the good things and the silver linings, but the bottom line is we lost seven games,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s not a good trip.”
The Giants, last in the NL West, have lost nine of 10. They gave the Braves a scare by scoring two runs off closer Jim Johnson in the ninth.
“That was big,” said Hunter Pence, who had two hits but hit a groundout to second base to end the game with two runners on base. “Unfortunately we weren’t able to finish it off. We battled pretty hard this whole game.”
Brandon Phillips led off the Braves’ big inning with a homer off Matt Cain (3-7), the first of six straight hits.
The Braves and Giants combined for seven homers, including four by Atlanta, and 31 hits. Nick Markakis had four hits, including a two-run homer in the first. Matt Adams hit his third homer of the series, and 13th of the season, in the fourth.
Buster Posey drove in three runs with a homer and two doubles for San Francisco. Joe Panik led off the fifth with a homer. Brandon Belt hit his 13th homer off Ian Krol in the eighth.
Jaime Garcia allowed six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Rookie Jason Hursh (1-0) recorded the final two outs in the fifth for his first major league win.
Johnson gave one-out singles to Nick Hundley and Denard Span in the ninth before walking Belt to load the bases. Hundley scored on Kelby Tomlinson’s fielder’s choice grounder, and Panik’s fly ball to left field cut the lead to one run.
Johnson earned his 14th save in 19 chances.
Rain delayed the start of the game for the second straight night. The delay lasted 1 hour, 26 minutes.
Giants: Bochy said a decision will be made soon on IF Conor Gillaspie, who has missed 32 games with back spasms. A move with Gillaspie could be connected to the status of 3B Eduardo Nunez (left hamstring), who likely would need to show improvement Friday to avoid the DL.
Braves: Phillips (left groin tightness) and Matt Kemp (left hamstring) left for what Snitker described as precautionary reasons.
STRUGGLES FOR CAIN
Cain doubled in two runs in the second, but he couldn’t hold a 5-2 lead. Cain fell to 0-5 in eight road starts as he allowed seven runs and 10 hits in four innings. He gave up a season-high three homers.
RIO RUIZ SENT DOWN
The Braves optioned 3B Rio Ruiz to Triple-A Gwinnett and recalled IF Jace Peterson. Ruiz lost playing time to Johan Camargo, and the Braves want him playing on a regular basis in Gwinnett.
Giants: LHP Ty Blach (4-4, 4.23) will start in the opening game of a home weekend series in his first career appearance against the Mets on Friday night.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (4-5, 4.26) will open the weekend series against Milwaukee on Friday night. Foltynewicz allowed four runs in six innings in a 4-3 loss at the Brewers on April 30.
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