Sedona Red Recap: Martinez, Greinke push D-backs to win over Braves
PHOENIX — The first few days as an Arizona Diamondback were pretty forgettable for J.D. Martinez. But that changed on Monday night.
After being acquired last Tuesday from Detroit, the 29-year-old outfielder only got two at-bats in his debut last Wednesday before he was drilled in the hand with a pitch. X-rays came back negative, but he still wasn’t able to get back into a game until Sunday when he drew a pinch-hit walk.
So Monday’s contest against the Atlanta Braves was essentially Martinez’s first full game as a D-back. And he made it count, launching a three-run home run to center field for his first hit as a D-back that blew the game open in the sixth inning, making it 8-2, Arizona.
A.J. Pollock homered as well, and Zack Greinke cruised to his 12th win of the season with yet another solid performance. When the dust settled, Arizona had pulled together a resounding 10-2 victory over the visiting Braves in front of 20,862 at Chase Field.
For Martinez, the home run was his 17th of the season.
The win was particularly valuable for Arizona in the playoff race too, as both the Rockies and Cubs took losses on Monday. The D-backs are now tied with Colorado for the top wild card spot, 5.5 games ahead of the Chicago.
Greinke helped his own cause by doubling home the first run of the game in the second inning. He also got it done on the mound, surrendering just two runs. Over eight innings, he allowed five hits, struck out six and didn’t walk an Atlanta batter. Greinke has now won six of his last seven decisions, and Arizona is 11-3 in games he has started since the beginning of May.
Martinez made his first hit as a D-back a memorable one, driving a Matt Wisler pitcher 427 feet over the center field wall.
Pollock continued his recent tear, collecting three hits, four RBI, two runs scored and his fifth home run of the season.
Jeff Mathis tied a season high with three hits.
Rodriguez made things interesting for a moment when he trimmed Arizona’s lead to 4-2 with a pinch hit homer off of Greinke in the fifth.
Even with the 10 runs, the D-backs still managed to leave 11 on base.
STAT OF THE GAME
6: Number of wild pitches thrown by Atlanta hurlers in the game. Four came from knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who was chased after 3.2 innings having allowed four runs with five walks.
HE SAID IT
“I thought it was timely with how we were hitting with men in scoring position, which is obviously the name of the game. And we blew it open late with some really big moments at the plate. So just a really good effort, well-timed effort. Something that we’ve needed for a long time.” – Torey Lovullo on Pollock’s home run
– The Arizona Rattlers were honored before the game for their recent United Bowl victory in which they knocked off the Sioux Falls Storm by a final of 50-41 to win the title in their first IFL season.
– The Braves traded pitcher Jaime Garcia to Minnesota before the game in exchange for Huascar Ynoa, Anthony Recker and cash considerations.
These two clubs will meet again at Chase Field on Tuesday night. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning at 6 on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.
Taijuan Walker (6-4) will take the mound for Arizona looking for his first win since June 21. He’s pitched well though, allowing three runs or less in 10 of his last 11 starts.
Walker missed his last scheduled outing on July 20 for the birth of his first son. He’s only faced Atlanta once in his career, allowing two runs and earning a no-decision on July 14.
The Braves will counter with Mike Foltynewicz (8-5). The big righty hasn’t lost since May 27, earning wins in five consecutive decisions. The D-backs did get to him for three runs over 5.1 innings on July 15, but he escaped that one with a no-decision in what turned out to be an 8-5 victory for Atlanta.
In five career starts against Arizona, Foltynewicz is 0-1 with a 5.97 ERA.