Diamondbacks commit four errors, lose in extra innings to Braves
Sep 8, 2018, 11:51 PM
(AP Photo/Matt York)
PHOENIX — It started with an error and ended with an error in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 5-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves Saturday night.
With no outs and Freddie Freeman in scoring position for the Braves in the tenth inning, the D-backs committed a costly error — the team’s fourth on the night — when pitcher Andrew Chafin couldn’t corral first baseman Paul Goldschmidt’s throw to first base.
The mishap allowed Freeman to score before the Braves closed out the frame with another run to go up 5-3.
The D-backs weren’t out of it just yet. An infield single by A.J. Pollock with runners on second and third kept the hopes alive for Arizona as it scored a run and gave Nick Ahmed the opportunity to tie things up at 5-5.
But Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson was right there to spoil the comeback, making an incredible play to throw Ahmed out at home.
“It [was] going to take a great play and [Swanson] made a great play,” third base coach Tony Perezchica said of his decision to send Ahmed home. “All you can do is tip you hat and wish it wouldn’t of happened and it did.”
The D-backs didn’t do themselves any favors early on.
In the first two innings alone, the team accumulated three errors — one from Daniel Descalso, another from Pollock and a third from Clay Buchholz — which got the Braves on the scoreboard in a hurry.
“Today was not Arizona Diamondback baseball in several areas,” Lovullo said. “Defensively, I think we’re one of the league leaders in picking up the ball and doing what we’re suppose to do, it just didn’t happen today.”
Entering Saturday, Arizona was fourth in errors committed (58). The Braves were No. 11 (73).
Luckily for Arizona, the Braves weren’t all that sharp, either, committing an error that resulted in Pollock crossing home plate safely.
They also had starting pitcher Buchholz at their disposal.
Looking at a 2-1 deficit, Buchholz dropped a double into left-center, bringing in Steven Souza Jr. to even the score at 2-2. It was the pitcher’s first career RBI and extra-base hit.
“Ten years in the American League, you’d think you would get lucky and do something,” Buchholz said. “It was a high moment for me individually and for the team.
“It’s fun pitching games like that.”
While both sides looked like they would be trading punches like two prize fighters, the two clubs settled down offensively.
That was, however, until Buchholz ran into some trouble with the heart of the Braves’ lineup in the sixth inning.
With one out and the bases loaded, Buchholz faced an uphill battle. It took him 24 pitches in the sixth, but the pitcher was able to get out of the inning unscathed, striking out Ender Inciarte for the third out.
It would be a big inning for Buchholz to get out of as he was pulled in the seventh with the game knotted up. He finished the evening going 6.1 innings, allowing five hits and an earned run. He struck out six batters.
“Once again it was a dynamite outing for him and it just seems like it keeps getting better and better every time,” Lovullo said of Buchholz. “It was a pretty special outing for him and he just keeps piling one on top of another.”
It wouldn’t be until the eighth inning when the Braves would break the tie off of a Kurt Suzuki solo home run.
That didn’t last long, however.
Down one and with a runner on, Daniel Descalso made up for his early-inning error, bringing in the tying run in Peralta to push the score to 3-3.
The D-backs had opportunities to break the game wide open, but failed to capitalize twice with the bases loaded.
In the eighth inning, Ildemaro Vargas lined out with men on, while Descalso had a similar situation, also ending in a line out, in the ninth.
“I don’t want to undersell the fact that we didn’t do what we were suppose to do today in a lot of key situations,” Lovullo said. “That’s what we get used to doing here and when it doesn’t happen it stands out.”
– Lovullo on his pregame conversation with pitcher Archie Bradley: “We had a couple of down pitchers today and one of them was Archie. My conversation went very well with him. I just wanted to make sure his head was in the right place and he was preparing to go out and do what he does best.
“In true Archie form he said he’s been making some mistakes, he needs to make some adjustments and he’s going to go out there and grow and learn and be ready for the next opportunity.”
– Through seven innings, the D-backs had more errors than hits. Combined, the teams accounted for six errors. The D-backs had four while the Braves had two.
– After failing to score a run with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, the Braves are now 0-for-7 with the bags covered.
– The temperature outside Chase Field was 103 degrees at first pitch, while the temperature inside was a cool 79 degrees.
– The announced attendance was 40,482.
– Buchholz has now allowed one run or fewer in five consecutive starts, tying the second-longest streak in club history.
– Arizona stranded 11 runners on base.
The D-backs will look to split the series when Robbie Ray (5-2) faces off against Touki Toussaint (1-1). First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.