Minor, Freeman lead Braves over D-backs
PHOENIX (AP) — Freddie Freeman and Mike Minor almost made it look easy.
Freeman hit a pair of two-run home runs and drove in a career-high five runs, and Minor struck out nine in a career high eight innings, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 10-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Thursday night.
“It’s just good for the whole team just to go deep in the game and not have the relievers having so many innings like they had last year,” Minor said. “Really it just puts the team at ease.”
The Braves scored three runs in the sixth and eighth innings, highlighted by a two-run single by Juan Francisco in the sixth and Martin Prado’s eighth-inning, two-run double. Freeman has 10 RBIs in his past three games.
“Just feeling good at the plate and got a couple of mistakes, and I was actually able to hit them,” Freeman said. It was the second two-homer game of his career.
Diamondbacks starter Josh Collmenter (0-1) had his longest outing of the season after struggling in his first two. He was charged with four earned runs on six hits in 5 1-3 innings Thursday, dropping his earned run average to 10.22.
“I finally felt real comfortable on the mound,” Collmenter said. “It was nice to finally understand what I was doing.
“We battled back in the game and you think everything is going well and then four hits (in the sixth inning) . they couldn’t have been thrown in better spots.”
The defending NL West champions lost their third straight.
“Baseball,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “It’s not fun to be a part of it, but you have to endure these times. We’ve been through it before, last year.”
The defending NL West champions hadn’t lost three in a row since Sept. 14, 16 and 17 of last season.
Minor (2-1) allowed one earned run on five hits. He gave up back to back singles in the fourth but Jason Kubel was thrown out at home by Prado while trying to score from second on Aaron Hill’s single to left field.
The Diamondbacks tied it at two in the fifth after A.J. Pollock got his first major league RBI on a sacrifice fly.
After Francisco’s single during a three-run sixth, Freeman went deep again, this time off reliever Wade Miley, to make it 7-2.
The Diamondbacks were without right fielder Justin Upton in the starting lineup for the third straight game. The two-time All-Star has been limited because of a thumb injury.
NOTES: Chipper Jones was given a day off Thursday. He’s played in six of the Braves’ 13 games after missing the first four recovering from left knee surgery, and dealt with swelling in the knee late last week. “If it acts up, we’ll give him another day,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. . RHP Tim Hudson made a third rehab start at Triple-A Gwinnett Wednesday, tossing five innings and allowing one unearned run on two hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Gonzalez said Hudson will throw closer to 100 pitches in a rehab start next Tuesday with the plan for him to be activated for a series against Pittsburgh later this month. . RHP Anthony Varvaro made his first rehab appearance Thursday for Gwinnett, and pitched a scoreless inning. … Diamondbacks SS Stephen Drew played three innings in an extended spring training game Thursday in Scottsdale and went 1-for-4 with a double. Drew is coming back from breaking his right ankle in July. . Video of the Coyotes’ game-winning goal in overtime at Chicago in Game 5 of their NHL playoff series drew cheers.