ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman homered leading off the 11th inning to give the Atlanta Braves a 5-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
Freeman’s ninth homer, off Derek Law (1-1), came after Giants closer Santiago Casilla couldn’t hold a 4-3 lead in the ninth.
Chris Withrow (1-1) pitched a perfect 11th inning for Atlanta to pick up the win.
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.
Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer for San Francisco.
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 fill-in start for injured Matt Cain.
Suarez drove in a run with his first hit, an infield single in the sixth.
The Braves have won two of three against the Giants with one game remaining in the four-game series.
Pence returned to the lineup on Saturday after not starting in six straight games with a right hamstring strain. He is tied for the team high with seven homers and leads with 36 RBIs. Jarrett Parker replaced Pence in right field.
The Giants provided no immediate update on the severity of Pence’s injury. San Francisco placed outfielder Angel Pagan on the 15-day disabled list on May 24 with a left hamstring injury.
Belt’s second homer of the series and sixth of the season drove in Matt Duffy, who doubled, for a 2-0 lead in the fourth.
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.