04/18 14:48 CDT Walker's 2-run HR helps Diamondbacks sweep Braves, 4-1
Walker's 2-run HR helps Diamondbacks sweep Braves, 4-1
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) --- Christian Walker continued his remarkable late-innings
production with a two-run homer in the seventh, Luke Weaver got Arizona off to
a good start and the Diamondbacks beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 on Thursday to
complete a three-game sweep.
Walker, who struck out in his first three at-bats against Braves starter Mike
Soroka, lined the opposite-field homer to right-center off Chad Sobotka
following a single by Adam Jones. It was Walker's sixth homer --- all in the
seventh inning or later. He added a double in the ninth.
Weaver (1-1) struck out nine in five scoreless innings, fanning the last five
batters he faced. He allowed four hits.
The Diamondbacks have won four straight, including their first sweep of the
Braves since 2016.
Arizona led 4-0 before Freddie Freeman led off the eighth with a homer against
Yoshihisa Hirano, who earned the win in the opening game of the series, gave up
a one-out single to Ender Inciarte in the ninth. Hirano struck out pinch-hitter
Josh Donaldson and ended the game on Ozzie Albies' flyball for his first save.
Soroka (0-1) allowed one run in five innings in his 2019 debut. He was shut
down in spring training with right shoulder tendinitis after missing the final
three months of the 2018 with a sore shoulder.
Pinch-hitter Nick Ahmed's double drove in Tim Locastro in Arizona's three-run
Soroka escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth. After an intentional
walk to Jones loaded the bases, Soroka struck out Walker and ended the inning
on Ketel Marte's grounder to first base.
The Diamondbacks took a 1-0 lead in the first on consecutive singles by Wilmer
Flores and David Peralta, a wild pitch and a run-scoring groundout by Jones.
Inciarte, running toward the infield, made a diving catch in center field of a
sinking liner hit by Ildemaro Vargas in the sixth with runners on first and
Ronald Acua Jr. singled to left field in the fourth to extend his hitting
streak to nine games. He struck out three times.
Diamondbacks: LHP T.J. McFarland (left shoulder inflammation) had his scheduled
rehab stint at Triple-A Reno postponed by rain Wednesday and pushed back to a
Braves: Soroka threw 85 pitches, 58 for strikes, after throwing 49 and 70 in
his two rehab starts for Triple-A Gwinnett. ... RHP Shane Carle was optioned to
Triple-A Gwinnett to clear a roster spot for Soroka.
Diamondbacks: Arizona's 10-game road trip next includes a series at Wrigley
Field starting Friday when rookie RHP Merrill Kelly (1-1, 3.79) faces the Cubs.
Braves: RHP Touki Toussaint (1-0, 0.00) will make his second start of the
season when the Braves open a three-game series at Cleveland on Friday night.
Toussaint, originally scheduled to start on Thursday, had the outing pushed
back to give him extra rest.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports