Diamondbacks swept by Braves in series of missed opportunities

Apr 7, 2024, 1:22 PM | Updated: 1:41 pm

Manager Torey Lovullo...

Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks argues with umpire Adam Hamari #78 after Blaze Alexander #9 was called out for batter interference at first base against the Atlanta Braves in the third inning at Truist Park on April 07, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have dropped four straight contests, as the Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep Sunday at Truist Park with a 5-2 win.

Braves third baseman Austin Riley delivered the dagger two-run shot 446 feet off Miguel Castro in the eighth inning, as late-game heroics defined much of the series win for Atlanta.

The D-backs had opportunities to close out the 2023 NL East champs in each of the first two games. Arizona led 5-2 going into the eighth inning on Friday but fell 6-5 in extras. The D-backs followed with a 6-0 lead in the first inning Saturday, and the Braves overcame an eventual 8-2 deficit to earn a 9-8 victory.

The Diamondbacks (4-6) were not swept in a series last season until July.

The D-backs fell behind early on Sunday, a rarity this season, as Atlanta’s Matt Olson blasted a Ryne Nelson fastball 408 feet in the second inning. The Braves went up 2-0, but Nelson struck out Ronald Acuña Jr. to strand runners on the corners.

From there, Nelson delivered three innings with one earned run and finished his day with seven strikeouts.

Nelson struck out four batters in a row at one point, nearly completing an immaculate inning in the third. Ozzie Albies and Riley struck out on three pitches each, and Nelson had Olson down 0-2. Olson checked his swing on a high fastball to end Nelson’s chance of completing the first immaculate inning by a Diamondbacks pitcher since Wade Miley in 2012.

The right-hander finished with five innings, three earned runs, five hits and no walks, a bounce back after he was chased in the third inning of his season debut on Monday against the Yankees.

The Diamondbacks tied the game with a pair of runs in the fourth inning, one on a Chris Sale balk (third disengagement) and the other from a Christian Walker single to center.

Atlanta’s Michael Harris Jr. quickly took the lead back with a solo shot in the bottom half of the fourth.

From there, the Atlanta bullpen continued to dominate with 3.1 scoreless innings between Joe Jiménez, Tyler Matzek and Pierce Johnson after Sale exited (5.1 IP, 2 ER).

Nine of Arizona’s 15 runs in the series came in the first inning, while the D-backs were shut out by the Braves’ relievers. Atlanta’s bullpen has thrown 33.2 innings with seven earned runs this year (1.87 ERA).

Before the game, Arizona placed shortstop Geraldo Perdomo on the 10-day injured list with a right meniscus tear, continuing a brutal stretch of injuries to start the year.

The D-backs’ road trip continues Monday in Colorado against the Rockies, a team Arizona won three of four against to start the year.

Zac Gallen matches up with left-handed Kyle Freeland, the same probables as Arizona’s 16-1 Opening Day win.

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