Instead, Atlanta’s bats were muffled by San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner and the Braves learned they’ll have to wait longer than expected for Brandon Beachy’s season debut.
Bumgarner allowed two hits in seven innings and combined with Sandy Rosario for a three-hit shutout in the Giants’ 6-0 victory over the Braves on Friday night.
During the game, Braves general manager Frank Wren revealed Beachy’s right arm is “a little tender” and he won’t make his first start of the season on Tuesday as expected.
Beachy, recovering from elbow-ligament replacement surgery in June last year, was examined by a Braves doctor in Atlanta on Friday. He made his fifth minor league rehab start on Thursday for Triple-A Gwinnett at Rochester.
“We think it’s a very minor setback,” Wren said.
“He was a little tender after the last start and this time he was a little more tender. ... They feel like it’s just inflammation they have to get out of there.”
Atlanta’s Kris Medlen (3-7) lasted six innings and gave up four runs on nine hits, including a homer by former Brave Gregor Blanco to lead off the game. The Giants had five doubles off Medlen.
Medlen had been considered a candidate to move to the bullpen to make room for Beachy. Instead, he’ll remain in the rotation after one of his least impressive starts.
“I felt great,” Medlen said. “I felt like I was ahead of guys. It was just one of those frustrating games, really.
“I went back and looked and I felt like I made some good pitches. They don’t strike out and they put the ball in play and they found some holes.”
Bumgarner (6-4) was dominant in earning his second straight win. The left-hander did not allow a baserunner for 4 2/3 innings before losing his bid for a perfect game in the fifth and shot at a no-hitter in the sixth.
Bumgarner matched his season high with 10 strikeouts while walking one.
The Braves, who were swept in a three-game series at San Diego to end a 2-5 road trip, have lost four straight.
Atlanta couldn’t push a baserunner past second base.
“Right from the very beginning we go down 1-0 and they added some runs, which probably made (Bumgarner) even tougher to face,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
“Our bats didn’t look very good, I think, because of that. We couldn’t put the ball in play.”
Bumgarner said he never thought Blanco’s leadoff homer would provide the only run he would need, especially after he didn’t feel sharp when warming up before the game.
“No, not against a team like this,” Bumgarner said. “It wasn’t terrible in the bullpen, but it wasn’t very good and so I kind of needed to get it together. Fortunately, I was able to do that and dial it in and make pitches and it worked out in our favor.”
Buster Posey had three doubles. Blanco had two hits, including a run-scoring single in the second.
Rosario allowed one hit in two scoreless innings. Andrelton Simmons singled with one out in the ninth and moved to second base on Jason Heyward’s groundout. Rosario struck out Justin Upton to end the game.
Bumgarner, pitching one year and one day after teammate Matt Cain’s perfect game against Houston, did not allow a baserunner until B.J. Upton walked with two outs in the fifth. Bumgarner then struck out Dan Uggla, who remained at home plate to argue the called third strike with umpire Gary Darling.
Atlanta’s Brian McCann also disagreed with a called third strike by Darling earlier in the fifth inning.
Chris Johnson led off the sixth with a bloop single to right-center field for Atlanta’s first hit.
The Giants took a 2-0 lead in the second when Joaquin Arias doubled and scored on Blanco’s single. The Giants added a run in the third on back-to-back doubles by Posey and Hunter Pence. Two more doubles by Posey and Brandon Crawford in the fifth pushed the lead to 4-0.
San Francisco added two runs off Braves rookie Alex Wood in the seventh. Posey’s third double drove in Tony Abreu, who walked. Wood, who walked two more batters in the inning, forced in a run with his bases-loaded balk with Andres Torres at the plate.
Wren said the team remains confident “everything is going to be fine” with Beachy’s comeback.
“He’s disappointed,” Wren said. “I think he was excited to get back out there and perform. So I think he’s disappointed in that regard, but he’s also a smart young guy. He knows that’s the best thing.”
Wren said the Braves would select a replacement starter for Beachy on Sunday.
Beachy was perhaps Atlanta’s top starter when his 2012 season ended, leading the NL with a 2.00 ERA. He was 7-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 2011.
NOTES: Blanco’s homer was his first of the season and his first career leadoff shot. ... Giants 2B Marco Scutaro, hit by a pitch on his left pinkie finger on Tuesday, played some catch before the game and hit in the cage. Bochy said Scutaro is “coming around” but is in a “holding pattern” until the team returns to San Francisco on Monday. ... Bochy said OF Angel Pagan (hamstring) is “not quite ready” to come off the 15-day DL but is improving. ... Braves LHP Mike Minor will face Giants RHP Chad Gaudin today.