Freeman backs Wood's gem in desert
PHOENIX -- Freddie Freeman went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs and Alex Wood pitched eight innings of one-run ball, leading the Braves to an 8-1 win over the D-backs in Monday night's series opener at Chase Field.
The Braves rattled off 13 hits, using a three-run second inning to take an early lead. Freeman's two-run blast to right-center field in the fifth put the Braves ahead, 5-0. Meanwhile, Wood scattered seven hits and won his third straight start. He has a 1.23 ERA in that stretch.
Freeman's home run was his third in four games.
"I always see the ball good here," Freeman said. "It's a great batter's eye. It's just one of those things that when I come here I hit well. Hopefully, I didn't just jinx myself for the next two games."
D-backs starter Archie Bradley had another rough outing, losing for the third time in four starts. He allowed five runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings, striking out just one.
"It wasn't necessarily walking guys or putting myself in bad situations, it was just leaving balls up," Bradley said. "I've just got to be better, just all around."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Another early exit: Bradley was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the fifth, unable to go deeper than five innings for the fourth straight start, all since his return from the disabled list. He is 0-3 with a 10.91 ERA during that stretch. Before his trip to the DL, the right-hander was 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA. More >
Wood pitches in: The D-backs intentionally walked Todd Cunningham to load the bases with two outs in the second with Wood on deck and it backfired. Wood smashed the first pitch he saw from Bradley up the middle to score A.J. Pierzynski and Jonny Gomes for a 2-0 lead. A walk to Jace Peterson later, Andrelton Simmons drove in Cunningham with a single and just like that, the Braves were up 3-0. More >
Missed opportunities: The D-backs scored just one run in the fifth after loading the bases with one out. Ender Inciarte plated a run on a sacrifice fly to center to cut the Braves' lead to 5-1, but Yasmany Tomas was thrown out trying to advance to second to end the inning. In the eighth, the D-backs came away with no runs after back-to-back singles by Jordan Pacheco and Inciarte opened the inning. A.J. Pollock grounded into a double play and Paul Goldschmidt flied out to end the scoring threat.
"We ran into an out there with good hitters coming up," D-backs manager Chip Hale said on Tomas' miscue in the fifth. "It's just sloppy, dead baseball."
Swinging Simmons: The D-backs retired Simmons for the first time in the sixth, but by that time, he already had three hits. Simmons is batting .405 during his 10-game hitting streak, which is one game shy of his career best.
"We played tonight, unfortunately, like a team that played 17 innings [Sunday] and lost and traveled home, which is my fault, it's the coaches' fault. We didn't have them ready to play, so I'll take the blame on that." -- Hale, on the D-backs' overall performance
"He's fine. I don't really want to talk about Simmons offensively, really. Every time we talk about him, he goes 0-for-14 or something." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez on hot-hitting Simmons
Braves outfielder Cameron Maybin was scratched Monday as a precautionary measure because of soreness in the upper left leg area. Maybin, who has hit safely in 13 of his past 16 games, had started 26 of the club's previous 27 games.
Braves: The Braves will send Shelby Miller to the mound in the second game of the series Tuesday at 9:40 p.m. ET. Miller has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his first 10 starts and posted an 0.95 ERA in May. He limited opponents to a .155 batting average last month.
D-backs: Josh Collmenter heads to the hill for the second game of the set Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. MT. Collmenter was 1-2 with an 8.14 ERA in five starts during May, but had a pair of solid outings to end the month, giving up two runs over five innings in each.
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