Jones’ bases-loaded walk lifts D-backs over Braves 3-2 in 10
ATLANTA (AP) — Adam Jones managed to lay off a couple of pitches he wanted to swing at before settling in against Jesse Biddle.
Biddle couldn’t find the strike zone, and Jones won the battle.
“Obviously we’ve got scouting reports that say, ‘Make him throw strikes, make him throw strikes,’ ” Jones said. “I took a 2-0 cookie and I took a 3-1 cookie, but I end up getting the big walk. Big for the team. We’re grinding it out.”
Biddle (0-1) filled the bases and then walked Jones on six pitches. Jones also homered in the fourth inning and scored the tying run in the seventh on Ketel Marte’s double. Arizona has won a season-best three straight.
“They just felt like they had to get something started,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “The next guy was ready to go. One professional at-bat after another. We did exactly what we’re supposed to do in those situations, hand it off to the next guy.”
It was just the latest bullpen setback for Atlanta. Closer Arodys Vizcaino had shoulder surgery Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season, heightening pressure from Braves fans to sign free agent closer Craig Kimbrel.
Arizona’s Greg Holland struck out Josh Donaldson and Freddie Freeman in the 10th before Ronald Acuña Jr. looped an opposite-field single to right. Holland ended it by getting Nick Markakis to line out for his fourth save.
Archie Bradley (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for Arizona.
Biddle started the 10th by making a two-base throwing error on pinch-hitter Tim Locastro’s bunt. He walked Jarrod Dyson, got a little help when center fielder Ender Inciarte slid to rob Eduardo Escobar of a hit, then walked David Peralta and Jones consecutively. Daniel Winkler replaced him and struck out Christian Walker.
“He’s going to have to believe in himself and turn the thing loose and attack hitters and not try to throw strikes,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Turn the ball loose. Trust that baseball guy inside you instead of trying to do too much and be too fine. We’ve seen him really, really good. He’s been a big part of the last two years and he’ll get it back again.”
Jones cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth with his fifth homer. He’s hitting .319 with six doubles, 12 RBI and five walks and has adjusted quickly to playing in the NL after spending his first 13 seasons in the AL.
I just like baseball, no matter where I’m playing,” he said. “I like baseball.”
The Braves led 2-0 in the second on Brian McCann’s two-run double.
Atlanta starter Kevin Gausman allowed two runs, three hits and one walk while matching a career high with 10 strikeouts over seven innings.
Arizona starter Zack Godley gave up two runs and five hits in six-plus innings. Matt Andriese replaced Godley after he issued a leadoff walk and escaped a jam by striking out Donaldson with a runner on second.
Diamondbacks: LHP T.J. McFarland was scheduled to begin a rehab stint at Triple-A Reno in his attempt to return from shoulder inflammation. … RHP Taijuan Walker, on his way back from Tommy John surgery last year, will throw live batting practice Friday. He felt comfortable following Tuesday’s bullpen session. … C Alex Avila and 3B Jake Lamb are throwing and taking swings off the tee in the batting cage, but neither has an immediate timetable to return. Both are on the injured list with a strained left quadriceps.
Braves: McCann was reinstated from the 10-day injured list, and C Alex Jackson was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Diamondbacks: RHP Luke Weaver (0-1, 5.17 ERA) is holding right-handed batters to a .214 average with 12 strikeouts in 42 at-bats. He gave up eight runs in his only career start against the Braves, lasting 4 2/3 innings last year with St. Louis.
Braves: RHP Mike Soroka will return from Triple-A Gwinnett to make his first start of the season as Atlanta and Arizona close out a three-game series. Soroka, 21, had a 3.51 ERA in five starts last year before shoulder soreness ended his season early.