Chris Young’s ninth-inning homer leads Arizona to a 3-2 win to avoid a sweep to the Atlanta Braves; the Diamondbacks’ first win in Atlanta since May 15, 2010.
After the Diamondbacks (38-37) tied the game 2-2 in the sixth inning, Young stepped up to the plate in the ninth and hit the most costly hit Craig Kimbrel’s given up this season – his first home run surrendered. Facing Kimbrel (0-1), Young sent a 2-2 delivery over the left centerfield wall for his second home run in as many days. Young’s latest home run extends a season-high nine game home run streak for the Diamondbacks.
The Diamondbacks sent Trevor Bauer (0-0) to the mound with the hope that he would be able to erase Arizona’s six-game losing streak in Atlanta. In his four-inning major league debut, the 21-year-old UCLA product walked three Braves and gave up five hits. Before Arizona manager Kirk Gibson replaced his starter with Patrick Corbin, Bauer gave up one run in each of the third and fourth innings.
Bauer struggled throughout his outing, especially in the third inning when he threw 30 pitches, walked three Braves, hit Dan Uggla, and loaded the bases. Chad Naggy, Arizona’s pitching coach, also visited the rookie twice in the inning, but allowed him to stay in the game long enough to retire Freddie Freeman on a fly out to close the inning.
David Hernandez (1-0), the winner of the game, and two other Arizona veteran pitchers finished the game by posting five scoreless innings. J.J. Putz closed the game by dominating the two through four batters in the lineup including Jason Heyward. Heyward, who was recently moved into the second spot of the lineup, ended his career-high 12-game hitting streak with an 0-5 effort Thursday night.
Jair Jurrjens (1-2) made his second start since his returning from his April demotion to Triple-A Gwinnett. The right-hander pitched well for five innings before he found himself in a predicament in the sixth. After singling to lead off the top of the inning, Willie Bloomquist was joined by Justin Upton on the bases before they both scored a Jason Kubel double to deep right center.
Despite a few instances since Jurrjens’s return, Fredi Gonzalez has really enjoyed the return of his 13-game winner of a year ago.
“He really was terrific,” Gonzalez said. “I guess it’s a little easier to pitch in the big leagues than it is in Triple-A. “This is the JJ of last year, when he was rolling and made the All-Star team. It’s a nice lift.”
Although Bauer did not have a stellar performance in his debut, Gibson may have to seriously evaluate keeping his young right-handed pitcher on the major league roster with Daniel Hudson’s recent injury. Hudson, the Diamondbacks’ second starting pitcher, recently tore a ligament in his right elbow and it will most likely require Tommy John Surgery.
The Diamondbacks’ latest win is their fifth in their last seven games and ends a season-high four game road losing streak. Arizona will continue their road trip in Milwaukee to take on the Brewers (31-41) before heading back to their home in the desert.
Atlanta will remain at home to face their NL East rivals, the Washington Nationals, for a three-game series with the goal of closing the 3.5 game gap between them and first place.
About the Author
Written by Jourdan Shepard
New York born. New Jersey bred. Earned my degree on a Georgia clay hill. "Rooting for my rival is like wanting the house to win in blackjack...."