PHOENIX (AP) – Freddie Freeman went 20 games without a home run until Friday. Now he has three in four days.
The Atlanta Braves first baseman had three hits, including a two-run home run, and teammates Andrelton Simmons added three hits in an 8-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday night.
Freeman’s two-run blast came in the fifth inning with Simmons on base, and Freeman also drove in a run with a sixth-inning single. Simmons extended his hitting streak to 10 games, and the runs were more than enough for Alex Wood (4-2), who held the Diamondbacks to a run on seven hits in eight innings.
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”I always see the ball good here. It’s a great batter’s eye,” Freeman said of hitting in Chase Field. ”It’s just one of those things, for some reason. Hopefully I didn’t jinx myself for the next two days.”
Wood said he had good fastball command and a good changeup and was able to move the ball in and out. He’s now won his last three starts.
”I’m starting to kind of get everything together, so to speak,” Wood said. ”It’s just more about getting that consistency and the repeatability to where I know I don’t have to work on anything anymore.”
The Braves, winners of their previous two games, tagged Diamondbacks starter Archie Bradley (2-3) for three runs in the second inning, all with two out. A.J. Pierzynski and Jonny Gomes singled and No. 8 hitter Todd Cunningham was walked intentionally to get to Wood, who lined a single up the middle for two runs batted in.
”That’s always nice, to get a knock,” Wood said.
Simmons drove in Cunningham with a base hit before Bradley got out of the inning.
The Diamondbacks, a day removed from a 17-inning loss at Milwaukee on Sunday, scored their only run in the bottom of the fifth with Ender Inciarte’s sacrifice fly to drive in Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Arizona lost a chance at more runs in the inning, however, when Yasmany Tomas was thrown out at second base trying to advance on the fly ball.
”We played tonight, unfortunately, like a team that played 17 innings yesterday and lost and traveled home, which is my fault, the coaches’ fault,” Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said. ”We didn’t have them ready to play. I will take the blame on that. It is embarrassing to me. It is not the way a team that I would ever want to coach would play a game. It’s just sloppy, dead baseball and I apologize for that.”
Bradley is still trying to find the rhythm that helped him start the season 2-0 including a win against Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. But on April 28, Bradley was hit in the face with a batted ball in the second inning of his start against the Colorado Rockies and went on the disabled list from April 29 to May 16 with a sinus fracture.
He’s surrendered at least four earned runs in four starts since his return and is winless in three of those, unable to make it past five innings.
Bradley allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings on Monday.
The Braves called up right-handed pitcher Cody Martin from Triple-A Gwinnett in time for Monday’s game, a day after designating pitcher Donnie Veal for assignment.
The Diamondbacks reinstated pitcher Matt Stites (right elbow inflammation) from the 15-day disabled list before the game and optioned him to Triple-A Reno. Stites has yet to pitch in a major-league game this season.
Braves: OF Cameron Maybin was held out of the starting lineup with a slight injury near his groin but could return on Tuesday. His replacement, Cunningham, scored twice, stole a base and made a diving catch in center field to steal a potential hit from Aaron Hill in the seventh.
Diamondbacks: C Tuffy Gosewich suffered a full tear of his left anterior cruciate during a game last week, a further examination revealed, and will need surgery. Gosewich said his season is over and he’ll need six to eight months of recovery time. ”It’s awful, sad. The guy busted his tail to get where he is at, did a great job helping our staff get better and now he’s lost running to first busting his butt to run a ball out and he hit the bag funny. It stinks for him,” Hale said.
ALL IN THE WRISTER
Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan was on hand to throw out the first pitch before Monday’s game, and also introduced the Diamondbacks’ lineup.
Braves: Shelby Miller brings his 1.48 earned run average over 10 starts and a 5-2 record into Tuesday’s outing against Arizona.
Diamondbacks: Josh Collmenter has held opponents to two runs in each of his last two starts. He’s 3-5 with a 5.05 ERA going into Tuesday’s start against Atlanta.