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As we alluded to in our series preview, the Atlanta Braves always seem to play poorly when at Chase Field. Despite not having a healthy Chipper Jones in three of the four games played this week, the Braves still managed to take three out of the four games played at Chase Field this past weekend. Atlanta is now 10-6 on the young season after starting out losing their first four games.
In game one, the Braves rode a stellar start from Mike Minor to a blowout 10-2 victory. Freddie Freeman belted two home runs and drove in another with a double.
The third game was a bit of a nail biter with Tommy Hanson on the mound. The Braves and Diamondbacks exchanged a scoring runs in the first two innings, and it was a solo homer from Dan Uggla that proved to be the difference as Atlanta won 3-2.
The fourth and final game saw the Braves lose by a score of 6-4. Randall Delgado pitched well except for a complete meltdown in the second inning, which included walking in a run with the pitcher at the plate and then surrendering a grand slam to leadoff hitter Gerardo Parra.
For more on the team, check out Talking Chop.
Five seemed to be the magic number for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, as the D-Backs rode a five-run second-inning outburst to a 6-4 home victory on Sunday, snapping a five-game losing streak for Arizona, as well as the Braves' five-game winning string.
Gerardo Parra hit his first career grand slam in the second to stake Arizona to a lead it never relinquished. The Braves' starter and losing pitcher, Randall Degado (2-1) retired the first two batter he faced in the second inning before the Diamondbacks loaded the bases on a double, a single and an intentional walk. Delgado walked in Jason Kubel to tie the game at 1-1 before Parra cleared the bases with his long blast, his second home run of the year.
Delgado went 5 1/3 innings, yielding five runs on just three hits. He struggled with his command, however, walking four and hitting two batters. He struck out six.
The Braves were held to single runs in the first, third, fifth and ninth, the final tally coming on third-baseman Jeff Francisco's solo shot, his third of the season.
The winning pitcher was Ian Kennedy, who posted his third win of the year, without a defeat. Kennedy has now won in seven straight outings, dating back to August last season. Center-fielder Michael Bourn led the Braves with three hits. Catcher Brian McCann was the only Atlanta starter without a hit.
The Brave. who are 10-6 on the seaon, won three of the four games with the Diamondback before falling in Sunday's final game of the series. Arizona evened its season record at 8-8.
Atlanta moves on to Los Angeles for a three-game series with the Dodgers, beginning Monday night.
The Atlanta Braves are rolling right now, and if they want to keep rolling they must keep their stars healthy and give them a few breaks. Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones have both received "the day off" on Sunday versus the Arizona Diamondbacks. Eric Hinske and Juan Francisco have been called upon for spot start duty, as the face of the franchise present and future both will be on the bench cheering the team on.
Here are the official lineups for Game 4 on Sunday as the Braves go for the series sweep.
1. Michael Bourn (L) CF
2. Martin Prado (R) LF
3. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
4. Brian McCann (L) C
5. Dan Uggla (R) 2B
6. Eric Hinske (L) RF
7. Juan Francisco (L) 3B
8. Jack Wilson (R) SS
9. Randall Delgado (R) P
1. Gerardo Parra (L) CF
2. Aaron Hill (R) 2B
3. Justin Upton (R) RF
4. Miguel Montero (L) C
5. Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
6. Jason Kubel (L) LF
7. Cody Ransom (R) 3B
8. John McDonald (R) SS
9. Ian Kennedy (R) P
The Atlanta Braves are looking for a series sweep on Sunday as Randall Delgado takes the mound against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Atlanta has won five straight games and will be trying to hand Arizona its sixth straight loss.
Delgado is 2-0 with a 4.35 ERA in two starts this season and will be making his first appearance against the Diamondbacks in his career. Arizona will counter with Ian Kennedy who is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA.
While Atlanta's pitching has been adequate in its current streak of 10 wins in 11 games but the offense has exploded. Atlanta is hitting .293 as a team in that span and has scored 77 runs.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, April 22, 4:10 p.m. ET
Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
Pitching Probables: Randall Delgado (2-0, 4.35 ERA) vs. Ian Kennedy (2-0, 3.86 ERA)
TV: Fox SportSouth
Radio: 680 The Fan
Online Streaming: MLB.tv
All five runs in this game came in the first three innings and then the two starting pitchers settled down the rest of the way. What ultimately would be the game winning run was a solo home run by Dan Uggla in the bottom of the third inning off of Joe Saunders.
|Final - 4.21.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Tommy Hanson (2 - 2)
SV: Craig Kimbrel (5)
LP: Joe Saunders (1 - 1)
Tommy Hanson got the win to even his record at 2-2 on the year and he went seven innings, struck out seven, allowed five hits and two earned runs. While Saunders also went seven innings, struck out five, allowed three runs with only two earned and allowed six hits.
Craig KImbrel closed the game out for the Braves with a perfect ninth inning where he struck out the side to earn his fifth save of the year.
The Braves are looking to win their fifth straight game when they take on the Diamondbacks.
Atlanta has won four in a row, including the first two games of the series against the D'Backs. Through the first two games, the Braves have outscored the Diamondbacks 19-3.
Tommy Hanson will look to even up his record at 2-2 on the young season. On the season, Hanson is 1-2 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Hanson has struck out 16 in 17 innings of work on the year.
Joe Saunders gets the start for Arizona. Saunders is 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 1.00 WHIP through his first two starts. Saunders has allowed only 10 hits in 14 innings on the season, and has walked four. Saunders has only registered nine strikeouts so far, so expect a lot of balls in play.
First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET. Televised coverage of the game can be found on Peachtree TV. The game will be available on the radio at 100.5 WNNX FM and WCNN 680 AM.
For more on the Atlanta Braves, be sure to head over to Talking Chop and join the discussion.
Braves broadcaster Joe Simpson has used a catchphrase of, "Hotter than a dancing bobcat" on various telecasts throughout the years. After scoring nine or more runs for the fourth consecutive game, it's safe to say the Atlanta Braves are hotter than a dancing bobcat.
Brandon Beachy continued to dominate on the mound, working 7.1 shutout innings. He allowed just four hits -- two of which came in the eighth inning before being pulled -- and walked one, striking out five batters in the process. Beachy improved his league-leading ERA to 0.47 and is now 2-1 on the young season.
Freddie Freeman continued to amaze, recording two doubles, a single, a walk and driving in two runs. With Atlanta up just 1-0 in the fifth, Brian McCann hit a crucial 2-run homer. Every starter other than Tyler Pastornicky recorded a hit, and every starter other than Pastornicky and Chipper Jones drove in at least one run. Michael Bourn stole his sixth base of the season.
Chad Durbin worked out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth without allowing a run to score. Craig Kimbrel, appearing in his first game since Tuesday, was a bit rusty on the mound and allowed one run to score before closing out the game.
For more on the club, check out Talking Chop.
The Atlanta Braves have been on quite the roll lately, winning eight of their last nine games against some quality competition. Most figured this would be a club that would rely heavily on pitching to win, but it has been the offense that has stepped up in a big way in recent days. They have scored 33 runs in their last three games and are doing so without a healthy Chipper Jones in the lineup.
Jones was placed back into the lineup by manager Fredi Gonzalez, batting sixth in front of Jason Heyward. Here is the rest of the order.
First pitch is set for 9:40 ET.
For more on the Braves, be sure to check out Talking Chop.
Remember the "Barves?" That's the season opening Atlanta team with the anemic offense and unremarkable bullpen that started 2012 with 0-4, including a sweep in Queens at the hands of the New York Mets. Something changed quickly for the Braves, and they're now winners of four straight, eight of their last nine and averaging 7.22 runs in that span. Trevor Cahill will try and stop the suddenly fierce Braves lineup, but has only faced one Atlanta batter (Jack Wilson, 1-of-4) in his career.
Chipper Jones was out of the Atlanta lineup in Thursday's series opening 10-2 win, but could return Friday or at some point in the weekend after having fluid drained from his surgically repaired knee.
Date / Time: Friday, April 20, 9:40 p.m. ET
Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
TV: Peachtree TV, Fox Sports South
Radio: 100.5 FM, WCNN 680
Probable Starters: Brandon Beachy (1-1) vs. Trevor Cahill (1-0)
After breaking out for 14 runs on Wednesday afternoon, the Atlanta Braves continued to hurt baseballs against the Diamondbacks, scoring 10 runs against Josh Collmenter and a solid bullpen. Mike Minor turned in yet another incredible start for the Braves, working eight innings of two-run ball.
Freddie Freeman hit an opposite-field two-run homer in the first inning to give his club a 2-0 lead. The D-backs scratched across two runs courtesy of poor defense from Juan Francisco while covering third base and a dropped popup from Dan Uggla.
With the score tied 2-2 in the sixth, the Braves benefitted from some incredible luck. Brian McCann somehow rolled a ball down the third base line off the end of his bat, and that was followed by a bloop single from Dan Uggla to right field. Collmenter was pulled for left-handed reliever Wade Miley, who promptly surrendered an RBI-double to Jason Heyward and bloop single to Juan Francisco to extend the lead to 5-2.
Atlanta was at it again in the seventh, scoring two more runs on a monster home run from Freeman, his second of the evening. In the eighth, Martin Prado hit a two-run double down the left field line, and he was driven in by a Freeman double that went into the right field corner.
Minor was tremendous on Thursday night. He struck out nine Diamondbacks, did not issue a walk, and allowed just five hits. The young lefty is showing just how dominant he can be on the mound and is on quite a roll right now.
For more on the club, head over to Talking Chop.
Hudson gave up two hits and three walks, retiring 12 straight at one point, as he moved to 6-0 all-time in Triple-A games. Hudson is recovering from spine-fusion surgery from November and is scheduled to join the Braves at the end of the month. He is scheduled to make one more start with Triple-A Gwinnett next week and could join the team shortly after.
Hudson gave up two runs (one earned) in his season-debut with Class-A Rome, but gave up five runs on nine hits over four innings in his second start with Rome.
The 36-year-old Hudson would be playing in his 14th Major League season this year. He went 16-10 with a 3.22 ERA last season. He is one strikeout away from 1,700 in his career.
For more news and notes on the Braves, check out Talking Chop.
After starting off the season 0-4, Atlanta has been on a tear lately, going 7-1 in their last 8 games and moving into a tie for second in the NL East behind the surprising Washington Nationals.
Arizona, meanwhile, has struggled to score runs, mustering only 6 in their last 3 games against the Pittsburgh Pirates, as Chris Young is out with a shoulder injury and Justin Upton is struggling with a thumb.
The pitching match-up on Thursday will be between the Braves Mike Minor and the Diamondbacks Josh Collmenter. Collmenter has pitched only 7 innings in his 2 starts this season, giving up 5 earned runs for an ERA of 12.86; Minor has been solid so far, giving up 6 earned runs in 12.1 innings for an ERA of 4.38.
The Diamondbacks will be without one All-Star this weekend and possibly another. Will that be enough to change the Braves' recent history of poor play in Phoenix?