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Pinch-hitter pitcher Gausman sac fly in 11th, SF tops Braves

Pinch-hitting pitcher Kevin Gausman lofted a full-count, bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the 11th inning and the San Francisco Giants edged the Atlanta Braves 6-5
Credit: AP
San Francisco Giants' Kevin Gausman, middle, celebrates with teammates after hitting a sacrifice fly that scored Brandon Crawford during the eleventh inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in San Francisco, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Pinch-hitting pitcher Kevin Gausman lofted a full-count, bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the 11th inning and the San Francisco Giants edged the Atlanta Braves 6-5 to increase their NL West lead. 

The Giants, saved when Donovan Solano came off the COVID-19 injured list and connected for a tying, pinch-hit home run with two outs in the ninth, moved two games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division race. Atlanta had its NL East lead trimmed to two games over Philadelphia. 

The Giants were out of position players when Gausman, a .184 hitter this season, stepped up for reliever Camilo Doval, who had never batted in his pro career. Gausman hit a flyball to shallow right field and Brandon Crawford beat the throw home with a head-first slide.