The teams combined for 29 runs and 27 hits in a wild series opener on Tuesday, when Arizona prevailed 16-13. Christian Walker homered twice and drove in five runs for the Diamondbacks, who snapped a four-game losing streak
Atlanta lost its third straight game despite a stellar performance by Austin Riley, who homered twice and had a career-high seven RBIs. He was mired in a 7-for-42 (.167) slump before the Tuesday outburst.
“That’s the one guy I don’t ever worry about,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Riley. “He always gives himself a chance to get it going, regardless of where he’s at. I stopped worrying about him a long time ago, because I know at some point he’s going to get hot.
The Braves were unable to keep pace in the series opener against Arizona, which had lost 10 of its previous 14 games
The Diamondbacks are exercising patience with catcher Gabriel Moreno, who has struggled at the plate over the past two months following a hot start to the season. Moreno has not started the past two games and only has 16 at-bats in eight games this month
“He’s gonna find himself in the middle of everything here moving forward,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We’ll make up for some of the lost time that he’s had over the past two weeks and we’ll get into more of a rhythm with him.
Arizona will face veteran right-hander Charlie Morton (10-6, 3.20 ERA) on Wednesday. He won his fifth consecutive start on Friday, allowing three hits over seven scoreless innings in a 9-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Morton, 39, has given up one run over his past 19 innings across three starts. He owns a 1.82 ERA over his past six outings.
“It’s not surprising to me,” Braves first baseman Matt Olson said. “It feels like he’s been the same Charlie Morton for the last 10 years. … I think sometimes you take for granted the consistency that he’s had over the course of his career.
Walker is 3-for-7 with a home run against Morton, who is 5-2 with a 4.00 ERA in 13 career starts vs. Arizona.
The Diamondbacks will counter with right-hander Ryne Nelson (5-5, 4.98 ERA). He received a no-decision after allowing two runs (one earned) over 5 2/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday
Nelson, 25, owns an 8.08 ERA in nine starts at home this season compared to a 2.68 mark in 10 outings away from Phoenix.
Nelson is set to make his second career start against Atlanta after giving up three runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 5-2 home loss on June 3.
The surprising Diamondbacks are in third place in the National League West, just 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona general manager Mike Hazen said his team plans to be active ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline.
“I think based on the way this team is standing right now, we should be looking at being aggressive at the deadline,” Hazen said. “I’m expecting us to play Diamondback baseball for the next two weeks so we’ll be standing in the same spot or better, so, yeah, we’re going to behave that way.”
–Field Level Media
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