Harang survives ugly first inning, Braves blow out D-backs for a ninth straight win

Scott Cunningham

Aaron Harang went eight innings and Justin Upton homered for the Braves in their ninth straight win.

Early on, this game looked very Barves-y, but the offense more than made up for it to help out Aaron Harang as the Braves turned a deficit into a huge win and their ninth straight with a 10-4 victory over the Diamondbacks.

Rare is the day you see Andrelton Simmons commit two errors in an inning, but after Paul Goldschmidt doubled with one on in the first, Simmons' throwing error allowed the runner David Peralta to score. Next, a shallow fly ball off Miguel Montero's bat hit off B.J. Upton's glove for an RBI single. Simmons' second error of the inning came when he tried turning a double play on Martin Prado, and ended up getting nobody. The Braves thought they were out of the inning on Aaron Hill's double play ball, but Hill had beaten the throw as was revealed by a challenge, allowing the inning to continue for Gerardo Parra who singled home Arizona's third run.

Simmons would atone for his errors in part with an RBI single, driving home B.J. Upton who tripled off Mike Bolsinger to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Bolsinger was in trouble in the first, but limited the damage to a single run.

Atlanta cut into the lead further in the third. Jason Heyward singled in Freddie Freeman who had doubled with one out. Unfortunately with the tying run at third, Heyward was caught between first and second and got picked off, squashing an opportunity to put up a crooked number.

They wouldn't miss that opportunity in the fourth. Following consecutive singles by Tommy La Stella and Christian Bethancourt, B.J. Upton caught a break when he was called safe at first by reason of Paul Goldschmidt leaning off the base to catch the throw from Didi Gregorius, when in fact he did hold the base. La Stella scored regardless, and Bethancourt and B.J. carried home the go-ahead runs after a double by Simmons; Freeman then tripled into the right-field corner to score Simmons, and Justin Upton brought in Freeman with a sacrifice fly. Atlanta put a five spot on the board to take a 7-3 lead.

Harang settled down nicely after an ugly first inning, finishing eight innings with relative ease and only allowing one other run: a solo homer to Ender Inciarte in the fifth. The defense was very busy, turning four double plays; three of them behind Harang who recorded just one strikeout. Jason Heyward made a nice leaping catch in the eighth to rob Goldschmidt of a hit.

Justin Upton hit a two-run homer in the sixth, Atlanta's first home run in a week; Simmons drove in his fourth run of the game with a groundout in the seventh.

This was a very good showing by the Braves offense. Seven position players had at least one hit with six of them having at least two; Christian Bethancourt had three hits.

Win Expectancy

Source: FanGraphs
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