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    September 27, 2018 9:52 AM BST

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeff Samardzija had a simple game plan against the Atlanta Braves that helped him earn a much-needed win and moved the slumping-but-still-surviving San Francisco Giants closer to first place in the NL West. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen Jersey .Just made them hit it to (shortstop Brandon) Crawford mostly, Samardzija said, referring to his Gold Glove teammate.The plan couldnt have worked out much better for Samardzija or the Giants.Sparked by a handful of defensive gems by Crawford, Samardzija and two relievers combined on a seven-hitter, and San Francisco beat Atlanta 7-0 on Friday night.Samardzija (11-9) had an uneven outing and had to pitch out of two early jams to win for only the fourth time since May 30. He got plenty of help from Crawford, who threw out a runner at third in the first inning, snared a liner to end the second with the bases loaded then made a nifty bare-handed grab to throw out Dansby Swanson to end the sixth.I like getting groundballs so Im glad that (Samardzija) feels confident in me to make those plays for him, Crawford said.Samardzija allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out six. He also doubled and scored in the fourth.Atlanta failed to score in the first after putting runners at second and third with one out. The Braves also came up empty after the first three batters reached base in the second, then ran themselves out of another opportunity in the fourth when Jace Peterson was called out after getting hit by the ball on pitcher Joel De La Cruzs single.Rocky start but he did a great job of getting out of those jams, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Samardzija. He just kept his concentration and his poise. Saved the game probably at that point for us.Angel Pagan homered while Brandon Belt, Denard Span and Buster Posey added two hits apiece for the Giants. San Francisco scored six runs on two-out hits and benefited from three Atlanta errors.Freddie Freeman had two hits for Atlanta, one day after taking a hard fall while flipping over a railing chasing a foul ball.Hunter Strickland and Cory Gearrin retired three batters apiece for San Francisco.The Giants benefited from the Braves shaky defense to give Samardzija an early cushion.San Francisco had four consecutive two-out hits off De La Cruz (0-7) in the first inning following a throwing error by Atlanta shortstop Swanson.We go up early and its a whole different game, really, Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. We just couldnt score and it looked like (Samardzija) got locked in pretty good.San Francisco went up 5-0 in the second on Pagans ninth home run, three batters after Gorkys Hernandez reached on second baseman Petersons fielding error.Belt, who had an RBI single and scored in the first inning, doubled in Posey in the fifth.The Braves couldnt keep up.NO HELP FOR THE PITCHERDe La Cruz remained winless after allowing seven runs in four innings but he cant shoulder all the blame for his record. The Braves have failed to score in five of the eight games started by the right-hander and he is receiving just 1.3 runs of support per start. I thought he threw the ball OK but (your teammates) make some miscues and you need to get the next guy out and he wasnt able to do that, Snitker said. It wasnt real good, really.TRAINERS ROOMBraves: Freeman showed no lingering effects after hurting his back during Thursdays game in Arizona. Freeman doubled in the first inning and reached on an infield single in the fifth.Giants: Outfielder Hunter Pence was held out after straining his right hamstring a day earlier. Pence is hopeful of returning to the lineup Saturday.UP NEXTBraves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (6-5) faces the Giants for the second time this season Saturday night. Foltynewicz, who beat San Francisco on May 30, is winless in his last two starts overall.Giants: RHP Jake Peavy (5-9) returns to the rotation for the first time since being demoted to the bullpen following the trade for Matt Moore on Aug. 1. Peavy last started on May 30 against Washington. Jordi Alba Jersey . Kiriasis and brakeman Franziska Fritz finished two runs in one minute 55.41 seconds -- a mere 0.01 seconds ahead of Meyers and Lolo Jones, who likely bolstered her Olympic hopes by helping give USA-1 a huge push in the second heat. Lucas Digne Jersey . After Gasquet beat fifth-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia 7-5, 6-3, Tsonga followed up with a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2 win against sixth-seeded Edouard Roger-Vasselin in an all-French match. . They had already blown a double-digit lead, fans were hitting the exits, and a long seven-game road trip waited at the end.The best team in CFL football last year was the Toronto Argonauts. They defeated the Calgary Stampeders to win the Grey Cup. And yes, Calgary was last years second best team.Toronto deserved to win and Calgary deserved the opportunity to play for that 100th Grey Cup ring. But the team that played the best for the longest was the BC Lions. What the Lions accomplished last year was remarkable: they set franchise records for defensive excellence, finishing first in fewest points allowed, net yards allowed, fewest passing yards allowed, fewest rushing yards allowed, most quarterback sacks, and lowest second down conversion rate. In six of eight major defensive categories they were the best in the league. On offense they were tops in four of eight major categories, including fewest sacks allowed and best second down conversion rate. When it comes to a football season, the BC lions had a pretty good one! They just didnt win their last game. Football is an odd game in that it is a single event. In baseball, basketball, and hockey the best teams are usually revealed because of the number of games played. You cant play 82 games of football similar to hockey and basketball and you certainly cant play 162 games liike baseball! And then to add playoffs; its physically impossible to play that much football. Thomas Vermaelen Jersey. . That is why "state of mind" is so important in football; you get one shot and that is it. BC had theirs and blew it; Calgary made it happen. New year, new team, and forget the past right? Im not so sure. I think you can be motivated as much by adversity from the past as clarity and optimism for the future. The Lions should let the lost opportunity of the Western Final burn a bit. There is a good chance they will get back there this year; so as the saying goes: if you dont learn from the past youre bound to repeat it. BC can use last years 34-29 loss at home to Calgary all season long if they wish. Both positive and negative reinforcement works, just in dramatically different ways. In terms of personnel there is not much to suggest improving with the Lions. Even in his 40s, kicker Paul McCallum had a great year going 44-52 on field goals. They have more players with the balance of youth and experience than any other team. It really is a game of focus and concentration all season long, anticipating those key dates: November 10, November 17, November 24. 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