PHOENIX (AP) — Kirk Gibson knows the Braves are an opportunistic team.
“This team, you don’t want to give them anything, because you know they are going to hit a home run,” Gibson said after the Diamondbacks’ 10-1 loss on Monday night, their third straight defeat. “That is what they do well. We put guys on and they hit home runs.”
Few were more opportunistic than right fielder Justin Upton, who ended a 14-game homerless drought, doubled and finished with four hits.
Upton, the first overall pick by Arizona in the 2005 amateur draft, was playing his first game at Chase Field since the offseason trade that sent him and Chris Johnson to Atlanta in a seven-player deal.
“The home run he hit was a changeup out over the middle of the plate,” Gibson said. “It’s not where you want to put that pitch, and as he has been doing this year, he got it.”
Upton received a mixed reaction throughout the night, with the cheers barely outweighing the boos when he stepped in or took the field for the first time.
“It was mixed, and that was what I expected,” Upton said. “It is what it is. I tried to have fun with it. This time the fans were yelling at me instead of cheering me, but it was good.”
Upton’s home run came off left-hander Wade Miley, who faced only one batter over the minimum over his first four innings before fading badly in the fifth and sixth.
Johnson hit a two-run home run in the fifth to give the Braves a 3-1 lead.
In the sixth, Upton followed his brother B.J., who was hit on the left shoulder by Miley (3-2) to lead off the sixth, and drove a pitch onto the porch just to the right of the center-field batter’s eye for his 13th home run and first since April 27.
But the Braves weren’t done. Freddie Freeman doubled, Evan Gattis walked and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. McCann singled to right, scoring Freeman to make it 6-1, and Johnson added a one-out double to left off reliever Josh Collmenter, driving in Gattis for a 7-1 lead.
“I was sort of messing up,” Miley said. “Early in the game, I was hitting spots and pitching down in the zone, but then, just like that, I couldn’t get it down anymore. I left pitches up, and they capitalized.”
Miley allowed seven runs, six earned, on six hits over five innings. He walked two, hit a batter, struck out one and threw two wild pitches. Miley threw only 47 pitches in the first four innings but threw 39 to the final 11 batters he faced.
The seven runs allowed were the second most of Miley’s career.
“He didn’t make the pitches he needed to make,” said Gibson.
Paul Goldschmidt gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the first with a home run deep into the left-field bleachers, his 10th.
The D-backs had other scoring chances against Braves starter Mike Minor, but Martin Prado was thrown out at the plate in the fourth by B.J. Upton on a Gerardo Parra single, and Cody Ross was tagged out at home in the sixth on a double to left by Prado.
Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius also ended the bottom of the fifth when he was caught trying to steal second base.
Minor (5-2) allowed one run on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings, and Brian McCann also homered for the Braves.
NOTES: B.J. Upton was pulled for a pinch hitter in the top of the seventh with a left shoulder contusion and is day-to-day. … Braves 2B Dan Uggla doubled in the eighth to end an 0-for-14 streak. … Justin Upton has 68 of his 121 career home runs at Chase Field. … According to MLB.com, entering the game, Miley had held hitters to a .178 batting average on his first 45 pitches, but batters had hit .353 from his 46th pitch on. … Goldschmidt is the ninth Diamondbacks player to hit 10 home runs in less than 40 games and the first since Kelly Johnson (11 homers) and Mark Reynolds (10) each did so in 2010. … Johnson snapped an 0-for-10 skid with a single in the third, the Braves’ first hit.