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Braves-Giants preview

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jake Peavy gets what could be his one and only shot at regaining a fulltime spot in the San Francisco Giants starting rotation when he takes on the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.

Peavy was demoted from the San Francisco rotation when the club acquired left-hander Matt Moore from the Tampa Bay Rays at the trade deadline.

At the time, Giants manager Bruce Bochy elected to keep Matt Cain in the rotation, while sending Peavy to the bullpen, where he's made eight appearances since Aug. 3.

The plan had to be scrapped, however, when Cain came up with a sore back in his start Aug. 17 against Pittsburgh. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list the next day.

Re-enter Peavy, who allowed eight hits and one run in his first six innings out of the bullpen before getting roughed up for five runs on five hits in two innings last Saturday against the New York Mets.

He hasn't pitched since.

Saturday, he looks to extend the Giants' streak of 22 consecutive shutout innings.

Part of the the run has coincided with 11 straight games without an error and Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the two go hand-in-hand.

"That's what defense does for you," he assured after the Giants recorded a 7-0 victory Friday night in a game in which the Braves committed three errors. "That's what we need to do the rest of the way: Play good defense and pitch well."

Peavy's spot in the rotation is scheduled to come up next Sept. 2, the day Cain is eligible to be reinstated from the DL.

The Giants don't seem to be in a hurry to activate Cain, but that could change depending upon how Peavy does Saturday.

The Giants also have a day off on Monday, which could give Bochy the luxury of skipping his fifth starter the next time through the rotation, especially with an important four-game series in Chicago against the Cubs looming on Sept. 1-4.

Peavy probably could take the decision out of his manager's hands by duplicating his previous performance against the Braves. He shut out Atlanta on one hit over seven innings in a 4-0 victory May 31.

The Braves counter with right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who also was on top of his game during the earlier series in Atlanta. He beat the Giants 5-3 on May 30, allowing only one run on three hits in six innings.

Foltynewicz can only hope for more support than right-hander Joel De La Cruz got in Friday's loss. Not only did the Braves make three errors behind him, but also failed to score for the fifth time in his eight starts.

Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman thought Friday's game was lost in the first two innings, when the Braves failed to score despite two doubles in the first, and loading the bases with no outs in the second.

"That was the whole game right there," he observed. "They capitalized with runners in scoring position and we didn't."

The Giants went 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position.