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Series Recap: Braves vs. D-backs

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It's too bad the Braves couldn't extend their winning streak past nine games, but they still took two of three from the Diamondbacks over the Fourth of July weekend. Atlanta's offense looked very good overall, recording double-digit hits in back-to-back games and coming through with runners in scoring position (10-30 in the first two games). I like home runs as much as the next guy, but it was nice to see the offense not rely on them so much.

The Braves jumped all over Josh Collmenter, scoring four runs in the first two innings with RBI hits from Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons to back up Ervin Santana, who held Arizona to two runs in 7.1 innings in the series opener.

Sloppy defense in the second game plagued Aaron Harang as the D-backs scored three runs in the first inning due to a pair of errors by Andrelton Simmons. The Atlanta offense, however, would rebound and drop five runs on Mike Bolsinger in the fourth inning to take the lead and ultimately win 10-4. Christian Bethancourt had three hits and Simmons drove in four runs. Justin Upton hit the only homer of the series for the Braves in the sixth, snapping a five-game stretch in which no one homered. Harang lasted eight innings and despite nine hits, was the beneficiary of three double plays

Sunday, the Braves hiccupped. Alex Wood made the crucial mistake of issuing a leadoff walk to the pitcher in the third inning, allowing Paul Goldschmidt to hit a two-run homer off the foul pole in left field. He pitched well otherwise, but Wade Miley was better, striking out eight in 6.2 innings. However, he was quite steamed at being removed mid-inning. Atlanta's offense failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities in the late innings.

B.J. Upton's hitting streak came to end at 11 games with three strikeouts and an 0-4 Sunday. During the streak, he hit .283 with a .313 OBP. As much as I like the results, I'm still not comfortable with B.J. hitting leadoff; I can't see him sustaining that kind of production.

HOT PERFORMERS
B.J. Upton: 4-13, 1 triple, 11-game hitting streak
Andrelton Simmons: 6-12, 2 doubles, 5 RBI, five-game multi-hit streak
Freddie Freeman: 5-13, 4 runs scored, 1 double, 1 triple, 3 RBI
Justin Upton: 3-8, 1 double, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 walks
Tommy La Stella: 6-11, 1 double, 2 runs scored, 2 walks
Ervin Santana: 7.1 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

NOT PERFORMERS
Chris Johnson: 1-12, 6 strikeouts
Jason Heyward: 2-12, and 5-34 in his last 10 games