EdS: Diamondbacks 5, Braves 4, 11 innings. New Approach.
Ryan Roberts’ hustle plays helped Arizona top the Braves.
He scored from third base on Justin Upton’s grounder with a drawn-in infield to give the Arizona Diamondbacks a 5-4 win in 11 innings over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.
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”That’s the whole thing we talk about all the time, trying to play hard,” Roberts said. ”Trying to run everything hard, trying to do everything hard and giving 100 percent and things like that pay off.”
Roberts beat second baseman Dan Uggla’s throw home on the play, the second display of hustle Roberts put forth on a night when it made a big difference. Arizona trailed 4-3 after pinch-hitter Diory Hernandez hit a two-out single to drive in Uggla in the top of the 11th.
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Russell Branyan singled and went to third on Roberts’ single that glanced off pitcher Craig Kimbrel’s glove. Kelly Johnson drove in the tying run with a single and Upton won it.
”He threw me a good slider and I was just trying to shorten it up and get something to the outfield for a sac fly,” Upton said. ”It didn’t work out as planned but it got the job done.”
Johnson, struggling with a .184 batting average entering the game, was officially 0-for-3 on the night when he got his hit.
”I really felt that as the game went on it was going to be his night,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of Johnson. ”It was a huge hit for us in the last inning.”
Aaron Heilman (2-0) pitched an inning for the victory.
With the Braves trailing 2-1 in the seventh, Brooks Conrad delivered a game-tying RBI double. He then scored on Martin Prado’s sacrifice fly. The Diamondbacks tied it in the bottom half of the inning, Roberts scoring from second base on a wild pitch by reliever Scott Proctor.
Diamondbacks starter Joe Saunders didn’t qualify for the win despite pitching six innings and allowing a run on seven hits. Saunders is winless in nine starts this season.
Two outfield assists in the same inning by left fielder Gerardo Parra kept Arizona within striking distance. Parra prevented a potential big inning in the sixth after the Braves put runners on second and third with no out.
Brian McCann hit a fly ball that Parra tracked down before it went over his head and off the wall, a sacrifice fly that scored Jason Heyward. Chipper Jones broke for third with Parra backtracking, and the left-fielder threw him out trying to advance.
Saunders walked Uggla, who tried to take third base on Freddie Freeman’s single to shallow left. Parra threw out Uggla and ran off the field pumping his fist. Parra became the first Diamondbacks player to record two assists in one inning.
”He got the best of us there,” Jones said of Parra. ”It’s always odd when we play here… this is kind of like our Yankee Stadium. It’s a house of horrors.”
The Diamondbacks scored the game’s first two runs, the first on Upton’s solo home run in the first and the second on a run-scoring single by Roberts in the fourth.
Prado’s single to start the game gave him a 10-game hitting streak. Braves starter Julio Teheran, recalled from the minors earlier Wednesday, got through only four innings.
Notes: The Diamondbacks made roster moves before Wednesday’s game after designating pitcher Armando Galarraga for assignment late Tuesday. Infielder Sean Burroughs, out of pro baseball since June 2007, was selected from Triple-A Reno, and Arizona reinstated utility player Willie Bloomquist from the 15-day disabled list. … 3B Melvin Mora was placed on the bereavement list with no timetable set for his return. … Burroughs said he shed some tears of emotion when he got the call to join the Diamondbacks. ”It’s been a long journey. I’ve been through a lot. A lot of ups, a lot of downs,” he said. ”If you’d have told me 12, 14 months ago that I’d be playing baseball in general anywhere I don’t know if I would believe you.” … Manager Kirk Gibson has to find a new starting pitcher for Saturday, which would have been Galarraga’s turn in the rotation. He said he has yet to talk to general manager Kevin Towers about what exactly will be done, but didn’t rule out an external candidate not currently on the major-league roster. … Braves RHP Cory Gearrin was optioned to AAA Gwinnett to make room for Teheran. … RHP Peter Moylan will see Los Angeles physician Dr. Robert Watkins for further evaluation Friday after having had surgery on his lower back Tuesday.