Braves pull away from Diamondbacks in seven-run eighth inning

Atlanta 11, Arizona 5

  • Follow Baseball

ATLANTA — People like to say the Atlanta Braves live and die by the home run.

Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (right) is embraced by Justin Upton after Freeman hit a two-run home run during the Braves' win. It was his eighth home run of the season.  DAVID GOLDMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
DAVID GOLDMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Atlanta's Freddie Freeman (right) is embraced by Justin Upton after Freeman hit a two-run home run during the Braves' win. It was his eighth home run of the season.

Jason Heyward says that’s not always the case, and he offered Saturday’s eighth inning as proof.

“We did a good job getting pitches to hit. We had some sac flies, we had some guys running the bases well, we had some guys drawing some walks,” Heyward said. “When you’re able to do things like that and put it all together, you have a lot of opportunities to win the game.”

Heyward hit a game-tying RBI double and Andrelton Simmons scored the go-ahead run on the same play during a seven-run eighth inning that gave the Braves an 11-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Atlanta has won back-to-game games and four of five to lead Washington by 6½ games in the NL East.

The Diamondbacks have lost four of five.

Braves starter Tim Hudson extended his winless streak to 10 consecutive starts, allowing five hits, four runs and four walks with two strikeouts in 5⅔ innings.

David Hernandez (4-5) retired the first batter he faced in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Reed Johnson and Simmons were both hit by a pitch before Heyward doubled.

Johnson scored from second, but third base coach Brian Snitker signaled for Simmons to stop as Jason Kubel was throwing to cutoff man Eric Chavez at third.

When Kubel’s throw bounced wide left of Chavez, Simmons was able to score easily to give the Braves a 6-5 lead.

“I was bluffing at first just to force a throw (from Kubel) and maybe make him start getting ready to throw home, too,” Simmons said. “When I saw the ball went away from the third baseman, I noticed there was nobody in the space. The catcher was all the way back there, so I didn’t think they were going to beat me to home plate.”

After a single by Justin Upton chased Hernandez, Tony Sipp allowed Brian McCann’s two-run single and Dan Uggla’s RBI double, before B.J. Upton’s sacrifice fly RBI to make it 10-5.

Chris Johnson added an RBI single off J.J. Putz for an 11-5 lead.

Hernandez allowed two hits and four runs with no walks or strikeouts in one-third of an inning.

“We didn’t deserve to win the game,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “Just melted down. Didn’t play good at all. It’s frustrating. It’s disappointing for sure.”

The Diamondbacks took a 5-4 lead in the top of the eighth on Miguel Montero’s fifth homer, a solo shot, off Jordan Walden. Walden (3-1) earned the win despite allowing three hits and one run with no walks and one strikeout in one inning.

Arizona scored its first four runs on an RBI double by Montero, Kubel’s RBI single in the fourth and A.J. Pollock’s two-run homer in the sixth.

Hudson was chased when Pollock’s sixth homer scored Kubel in the sixth to tie it at 4-all.

“I wish I’d have had an opportunity at a decision to get one more out, but the important thing is we won the ballgame,” Hudson said. “We ended up having really nice inning in the eighth there. That’s all that matters.”

Arizona’s rotation extended its winless streak to 21 games after Ian Kennedy gave up five hits, four runs, four walks and struck out four in 4⅓ innings.

Kennedy fell behind 2-0 in the third when Justin Upton singled and scored on Freddie Freeman’s eighth homer.

Hudson, who began the game with a 16.88 ERA with runners in scoring position, labored in the 27-pitch fourth as Arizona tied it at 2-all.

But the Braves took advantage of Kennedy’s control problems in the fifth, scoring two runs without getting a hit and by putting just one ball, B.J. Upton’s sacrifice fly RBI, in play.

Kennedy walked three of the first four batters he faced, getting chased on his free pass to Brian McCann.

Will Harris, the next Arizona pitcher, walked the first batter he faced, Uggla, to score Heyward. Upton’s sacrifice fly scored Freeman to make it 4-2.

Kennedy was making his first appearance since serving a 10-game suspension imposed following a brawl between the Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 11.

Making his seventh straight start on the road, Kennedy dropped to 1-4 with a 6.28 ERA in 10 starts away from Phoenix.

SUNDAY’S GAME

WHAT: Arizona Diamondbacks (Trevor Cahill 3-9, 4.29) at Atlanta Braves (Paul Maholm 8-6, 3.75)

TIME/TV: 1:35 p.m./Fox Sports South, TBS


Search Augusta jobs