D-backs’ Ryne Nelson quiets daunting Braves offense in series-clinching win

Jul 19, 2023, 6:55 PM | Updated: 10:07 pm

Ryne Nelson...

Ryne Nelson #19 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on July 19, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Ryne Nelson provided seven stellar innings against the Atlanta Braves in a 5-3 victory, clinching a series on the road against the league’s best team.

Nelson continued his dominance on the road with seven innings, two earned runs and only three hits allowed with one walk. He retired 11 batters in a row at one point, as Atlanta (61-33) struggled to string anything together, relying on two solo shots for offense.

The rookie faced the Braves in Arizona (54-42) earlier this season and was chased in the fifth inning.

Nelson responded, leaning on his fastball, cutter and slider to miss barrels.

The righty has a 1.65 ERA over his last eight road starts, and the Diamondbacks have won five of them.

With the MLB trade deadline approaching, the D-backs will be focused on pitching help, especially with Merrill Kelly and Zach Davies currently sitting on the injured list. Nelson’s first full season has lacked consistent results, but Wednesday was another case as to why the organization has stuck with him all year in the back of the rotation.

Neither team got on the board in the first inning after seven runs scored in the opening frame on Tuesday, a 16-13 Arizona win. The D-backs broke through in the second on a Gabriel Moreno RBI double down the right-field to score Christian Walker, who doubled to start his encore after a two-homer night.

Moreno had not started since Friday, when he went 2-for-4 with a RBI.

Like the series opener, Atlanta had an answer with a solo shot courtesy of Marcell Ozuna off Nelson in the bottom half.

The D-backs got right back to it in the third, working at-bats with a pair of two-out walks to load the bases for Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Gurriel was Arizona’s hottest hitter over the weekend series loss to the Toronto Blue Jays but did not record a hit in the slugfest.

He got right back on track with a line drive double to left on a hanging breaking ball for two RBIs off Charlie Morton.

That gave Nelson some room, and he did not allow another hit until the sixth inning.

The D-backs picked up a third two-out RBI hit from SS Nick Ahmed, who was 3-for-8 against Morton coming in with two doubles. Ahmed doubled to left to score Evan Longoria.

The D-backs’ offense had such a difficult time piecing together innings in Toronto, but Tuesday showcased essentially every way they have been able been able to produce runs this year. Wednesday was less dramatic without the crushing home runs, but the performance involved battling in at-bats to reach base, steals and clutch situational hitting.

They finished 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

Nelson walked a tightrope in the sixth with a runner on third and one out, but he escaped All-Stars Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies.

Austin Riley, who drove in seven runs Tuesday, unloaded a solo shot to lead off the seventh and cut the deficit in half.

The D-backs got that run back in the eighth, though, on another Ahmed single with two outs and runners on first and second. He hit a grounder up the middle off the glove of the diving Albies.

Walker singled and Moreno walked to set the table.

The quartet of Walker, Gurriel, Moreno and Ahmed combined to reach base 10 times and drove in all five runs.

Walker entered Tuesday in a 4-for-44 funk but has propelled the offense in Atlanta thus far.

“I tend to try not to look at the scoreboard and try not to look at the small numbers because for me it’s a less reactive headspace and I can play the long game. It’s not about trying to hit 30 homers, it’s about letting 30 homers accumulate and just putting up good at-bats and staying competitive,” Walker told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke Wednesday. “That’s how I get through stuff like that.”

Kyle Nelson tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning to set up Kevin Ginkel for the save.

Ginkel picked up his first save of the year on Tuesday and followed with his second. It didn’t come easy with the game-tying run at the plate, but Sean Murphy grounded out to end it.

NL West look

The D-backs picked up a game on both the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants who both lost on Wednesday.

Arizona and San Francisco are both 1.5 games back of L.A.

Gallen day

The D-backs turn to their ace in the series finale, as Zac Gallen will matchup with Braves All-Star Spencer Strider.

The two are top five in the National League in WAR and FIP as the two are in the thick of the Cy Young race.

Strider allowed two earned runs in five frames in a 3-2 Atlanta win at Chase Field on June 3.

Gallen threw six innings of two-run ball with six punch outs in an 8-5 loss against the Braves to end that series.

First pitch is early, as the game starts at 9:20 a.m. on ESPN 620 AM, the Arizona Sports app and 

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