ATLANTA -- When the Braves defeated the Reds on June 15 thanks to a walk-off single by Chase d'Arnaud, the utility man didn't embrace the celebration as much as he could have.But on Sunday afternoon, as the 29-year-old rounded first base after helping his team secure a 1-0 win over
ATLANTA -- When the Braves defeated the Reds on June 15 thanks to a walk-off single by Chase d'Arnaud, the utility man didn't embrace the celebration as much as he could have.
But on Sunday afternoon, as the 29-year-old rounded first base after helping his team secure a 1-0 win over the Rockies at Turner Field with his two-out walk-off hit, he was prepared.
As his teammates rushed toward him in the right-field grass, d'Arnaud met them with arms wide open. He even attempted to hoist 205-pound third baseman Adonis García into the air. The feat proved to be too difficult, however, as both fell to the ground and were mauled by the rest of the players.
"It felt amazing. Any time you have the chance to do that, that's exactly what you want to do," d'Arnaud said about his third career walk-off hit. "Everybody wants to contribute, especially in times like that when everybody is pulling for you. I just tried not to do too much and took the bat right to the ball."
Accomplishing that seemingly simple task has been trying for d'Arnaud since his heroics against the Reds just over a month ago. After hitting .301 with eight-extra base hits through his first 31 games with Atlanta, he entered Sunday batting .169 over his past 20.
But the always-upbeat d'Arnaud hasn't let his recent skid affect him. He strolled to the plate on Sunday with the winning run on third, just as confident as before.
"You're not going to be hitting .350 all season," d'Arnaud said. "Sometimes, you've just got to grind through at-bats. I feel like that's the phase I've been going through. I'm coming out of it right now, and I'm feeling pretty good. I just refined some things and simplified it.
"It's a game of adjustments, and right now, I feel like I'm making the right ones."
The modifications d'Arnaud made on Sunday couldn't have come at a better time for the Braves, who were handed perhaps their worst loss of the season on Saturday night, when they recorded two errors and three wild pitches in a 4-3 defeat.
Things weren't looking great once again on Sunday, as Atlanta stranded seven men on base through the first four innings and couldn't back ace Julio Teheran with any run support.
The Braves had lost 10 of their past 12 games before d'Arnaud's previous walk-off hit, which sparked a season-high six-game winning streak. Now, in the wake of his latest heroics, they can only hope for more of the same.
"We weren't able to get those runners in when we had guys in scoring position most of the game," catcher Anthony Recker said. "But our pitching staff did an amazing job obviously to keep the game at zero-zero, and then in the end, Chase did a good job of coming through with the big hit.
"It definitely sends you on the road on a good note."
Pat James is a reporter or MLB.com based in Atlanta.