clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Diamondbacks 2, Atlanta Braves 5: Trading Punches

In a battle of division leaders, the Atlanta Braves evened the series tonight thanks to a strong start from Spencer Strider.

Atlanta Braves v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

On the heels of a six game winning streak that found the Arizona Diamondbacks tied for the National League West lead, they faced one of the better young starting pitchers in the league in Spencer Strider and would come up short. Their loss tonight prevented them from passing the Los Angeles Dodgers for sole possession of the division lead as their divisional foe had lost today to the New York Yankees. Arizona sent rookie starter Ryne Nelson to the mound to face the Atlanta Braves, and he labored all night long failing to complete five innings. In multiple innings tonight, he would find himself in a bind with runners on the corners putting the Braves offense in the driver’s seat.

While those two teams were duking it out in Downtown Phoenix, I was over in the avenues watching my nephew play in his little league baseball tournament. That went about as well as you would expect, with plenty of passed balls, little league home runs, and dropped fly balls. After a good twenty minutes of that, I kept a close eye on the D’backs game watching periodically on my phone.

Nelson got through the top of the first with minimal effort retiring the first three batters in order on only eleven pitches. However, that would be the only inning tonight where he did not allow a baserunner. The second inning was the only one in which he had runners on but would manage to escape without allowing a run indicative of the difficulty he had tonight with the Braves lineup. The third inning began with Corbin Carroll saving Nelson’s skin with this incredible sliding grab:

Unfortunately for Nelson, all that proved to do was delay the inevitable because Atlanta still managed to grind their way to the first run of the game. Ronald Acuna Jr. followed that at bat with a double to left field and stole third base with only one out in the inning. Nelson gave up a sacrifice fly to Austin Riley with runners on the corners giving Atlanta the one run lead. That began a strong of four consecutive innings where Atlanta would bring across at least one run to the plate.

In the fourth inning, Eddie Rosario hit a lead off triple. As mentioned before, Nelson found himself in another situation with runners on the corners and Atlanta again capitalized this time with Marcell Ozuna singling home Rosario. Nelson got out of that jam in the fourth with a timely double play. A pair of two out singles with a runner on in the fifth would give Atlanta their third run of the game and bring an end to Nelson’s evening. He really labored in this start indicative of his final stat line: 98 pitches through 4 23 innings allowing 3 earned runs on 6 hits and 4 walks. On a night where Arizona needed him to be at his best against Spencer Strider, he was not.

Strider as expected was carving through the Diamondbacks lineup with relative ease. Through four innings of work he faced only two batter over the minimum and held the Diamondbacks scoreless until Evan Longoria tagged him for a solo shot to begin the fifth. All that proved to do was motivate the Braves to not only answer back with a run of their own in the sixth but also add to their lead. Ronald Acuna Jr. hit his twelfth home run of the season, a solo shot off of relieve Drey Jameson in the sixth making it five to nothing.

Arizona’s best opportunity at a comeback came in the seventh inning. Strider came out to face the first batter of the inning, but gave up a lead off single to Emmanuel Rivera before being relieved from the game for Jesse Chavez. Jesse then proceeded to load the bases and the inning seemed to be on the cusp of spiraling out of control after he hit Geraldo Perdomo with a pitch making the score 5-to-2. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, Pavin Smith and Ketel Marte failed to come through with the bases loaded as both men struck out to end the inning with the final score holding 5-to-2. The defeat snaps Arizona’s six game winning streak. Because the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the New York Yankess, Arizona maintains a share of first place for the National League West lead.

06/04/23: D’backs (2) vs. Braves (5)

Most rec’d comment of the night goes to ‘Hacks for this spot on meme for the evening.