Grit Index: Bats and bullpen step up in win over Braves
The Arizona Diamondbacks ended their seven-game home stand, and they’ll be leaving on a positive note. After getting clobbered in game one of the three game series against Atlanta, they took games two and three to win the set.
Wednesday it was a 5-3 game in which Ian Kennedy got the win with some help from the bullpen and his teammates offensively. Kennedy lasted just five innings, giving up five hits, three earned runs, walking three and striking out seven. He threw 100 pitches, with 59 of those strikes.
As for Arizona’s offense, a four-run fifth inning was key in getting the W. Veteran third baseman Eric Chavez was responsible for three of the five RBI on the day. He recorded a single in the first inning that scored Paul Goldschmidt and a double in the fifth that brought home Gerardo Parra and Didi Gregorius. Chavez finished 2-for-3 with an intentional walk, three RBI and one run scored. Chavez has now hit safely in six of his last seven games, going 9-for-19 with five RBI. The other two RBI came courtesy of Gregorius and Ross.
The D-backs bullpen found a way to get the job done for the second straight night. With Kennedy lasting only five innings, the relievers were relied on heavily Wednesday. Matt Reynolds, Brad Ziegler, David Hernandez and Heath Bell combined to pitch four innings. Collectively they gave up six hits but allowed no runs, no walks and struck out four.
The D-backs have now recorded errors in three straight games for the first time all season. Martin Prado and Didi Gregorius were each charged with miscues and there could’ve been a third called on Eric Chavez in the third inning but it was ruled a single instead. That’s something manager Kirk Gibson made note of in his post-game press conference.
This is the D-backs’ first three-game series win over the Braves since August of 2007. The number 1-4 hitters combined to go 8-for-14 with four runs scored and the team was 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Starter Ian Kennedy got his first win since Opening Day.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is the first National League player with 10 doubles and 10 home runs this season.
This was also the first career loss for Braves pitcher Tim Hudson against the Diamondbacks. He entered Wednesday 7-0 in nine starts. The five runs he allowed were also the most against Arizona. Hudson allowed two runs in his previous five starts over 38 total innings pitched.
He Said It
“I wish we had more four run innings, yes. We had a chance to tack on, but Cody (Ross) hit into a double play. Those runs are big right there. We’ve had a lot of games like that and I guess I shouldn’t expect any differently.” — Manager Kirk Gibson when asked after the game if he likes getting big innings from his offense.
The Diamondbacks hit the road and travel to Miami but they’ll have an off day on Thursday. Friday’s starter for game one against the Marlins will be Trevor Cahill. The righty is 2-4 on the season with a 2.70 ERA. Cahill lost his last outing on May 11th against the Phillies, but he’s held opponents to two runs or less in four straight outings. Kevin Slowey will make the start for the Marlins. First pitch is slated for 4:10 p.m. here in Arizona and you can catch that game on Arizona Sports 620 am.