San Francisco Giants left fielder Pat Burrell, bottom, cannot reach a ball hit for a two-run home run by Atlanta Braves' Alex Gonzalez in the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Braves outfielder Eric Hinske gave himself, and his teammates a great birthday present Thursday night. A game winning home run to beat the Giants in the middle of a pennant race.
In a marquee matchup between the two teams, Hinske broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning with a solo shot off Tim Lincecum that proved to be the difference. The freshly turned 33 year old was in an 0-for-17 hitless streak before sending Lincecum's pitch over the centerfield wall.
The long ball was ultimately what did in the reigning Cy Young winner, as all three Atlanta runs came via the long ball. After the Giants jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Lincecum gave it back when Alex Gonzalez hit a two run homer off of him in the second inning.
The loss is the second in a row for the Giants, after they had won four straight. Barry Zito will look to snap the modest losing streak Friday night when he faces the Braves Tommy Hanson.