The Aaron Blair experience did not go as many hoped this afternoon, as the 25-year-old was quickly chased from the game after allowing five runs in three innings. The Diamondbacks showed no mercy on their former first-round pick, and continued their assault by scoring five more against the Braves bullpen, winning 10-3 and taking the series.
With Blair tabbed to square off against his former team, the Braves needed a solid performance both offensively and defensively in support of the right-hander. They produced neither, with a botched rundown and two outfield misplays aiding the Arizona attack in the early going. The botched rundown came in the first inning, and helped the Diamondbacks to score their first run of the ballgame to tie the score at one.
The Braves’ two outfield misplays came on deep fly balls, with Ender Inciarte losing track of a deep shot to the warning track, which resulted in a two-run triple for Daniel Descalso, and Sean Rodriguez pursuing a ball toward the right field wall that took an awkward bounce and allowed Ketel Marte to circle the bases for an inside-the-park home run. Blair certainly was hit hard, but those two unfortunate mishaps only served to make matters worse. The third inning would be the end of the line for Blair, who finished with five walks, five hits, and five earned runs allowed.
Offensively the Braves bats were held relatively quiet by Arizona starter Patrick Corbin, who held them to two runs over six innings. Corbin was not overly sharp in this game, as he did walk four batters and allow seven hits, but he was able to limit the damage and keep the Braves at bay. The best rally formulated by Atlanta came in the fourth inning, when the Braves loaded the bases with nobody out, but came away with just one run. A Brandon Phillips sacrifice fly plated that lone run, but was followed with a walk, a Matt Kemp strikeout, and a Tyler Flowers fly out to extinguish the threat. That would be the Braves’ best chance, as the Diamondbacks extended their lead in the bottom of the frame on a two-run homer from JD Martinez.
The Braves will have the day off on Thursday, and will begin a weekend series in Philadelphia on Friday. They will hope for a much better performance from their pitching staff in that matchup than they received in the desert.