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Braves’ bats powerless against Greinke, Diamondbacks

Zack Greinke held Atlanta in check with another dominant performance.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves’ offensive woes continued on Saturday with a 3-0 loss to Zach Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sean Newcomb’s day got off to an inauspicious start when he walked the bases loaded with one out in the first. Steven Souza followed with a run-scoring single to put the Diamondbacks up 1-0. However, Newcomb recovered and retired Ketel Marte and Chris Owings to escape without any further damage.

Arizona struck again in the fourth against Newcomb when Owings singled with two outs and then scored on a double off the bat of Jeff Mathis.

After a scoreless fifth, Newcomb came back out for the sixth. He retired A.J. Pollock and Souza before allowing a solo home run to Marte to make it 3-0. That would be all for Newcomb who exited after allowing four hits and three runs over 5.2 innings. He walked three but none after the first inning and struck out two. Given the way it started, it was a good showing for Newcomb who came in having struggled in back-to-back starts.

Offensively it wasn’t pretty for Atlanta who managed just four hits against Greinke and two Diamondbacks relievers. The Braves’ best chance to score came in the eighth when Dansby Swanson singled with one out. Greinke then got Johan Camargo to fly out to center for the second out of the inning.

That ended Greinke’s night after 103 pitches in which he allowed four hits over 7.2 shutout innings. He struck out seven and walked no one. He was replaced by lefty Andrew Chafin who came on and walked pinch hitter Charlie Culberson. Culberson was pinch hitting for Ender Inciarte who was 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts in the game.

With runners at first and second, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo turned to Archie Bradley who struck out Ozzie Albies to end the threat. Brad Boxberger retired the Braves in order in the ninth to secure the win.

Swanson had two of Atlanta’s five hits on the evening. Freddie Freeman had a first inning single while Tyler Flowers doubled in the seventh off of Greinke.

The Braves have now lost eight of their last 10 games. They will try to avoid a sweep on Sunday and head into the All-Star break on a good note.

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