The last time the Braves saw Madison Bumgarner he held them without a hit over seven innings in the second game of a doubleheader back on April 25. Bumgarner retired the first five hitters he faced Thursday before Travis d’Arnaud singled in the second. He escaped that jam but wasn’t as fortunate in the third as Atlanta’s offense kicked into gear.
Freddie Freeman worked a two-out walk to get things started. Ozzie Albies followed with a deep drive into the triangle at Chase Field in left that hit off the wall. Freeman scored on the play to give the Braves a 1-0 advantage. Replay showed fan interference on the play but the umpires determined that Freeman would have scored anyway.
Austin Riley made that a moot point two pitches later when he hit a long home run to left to extend the lead to 3-0. The blast was Riley’s 32nd of the season and his third of the series.
The Diamondbacks finally scratched across a run against Charlie Morton in the fifth. Jake McCarthy reached on a one out double and then came around to score on a single by Daulton Varsho to make it 3-1. Morton got Josh Rojas to ground into a 6-3 double play to end the frame with no further damage.
Atlanta got that run back in the sixth. Adam Duvall singled with one out and then moved to third on a double by d’Arnaud. Dansby Swanson followed with a 400 foot sacrifice fly to make it 4-1.
Morton sat the side down in order in the sixth but found himself in trouble in the seventh as Josh VanMeter and Ildemaro Vargas led off the inning with back-to-back singles. That would be the end of the line for Morton who was replaced by Jacob Webb. Webb has been really good of late but he left an 0-1 changeup over the heart of the plate to Carson Kelly who drove it out to left for a three-run home run that tied the game. Kole Calhoun followed with a double to left field for Arizona’s fourth straight hit. Varsho followed with a rocket double over the head of Heredia in center to score Calhoun to give the Diamondbacks a 5-4 lead.
Tyler Matzek replaced Webb and retired Josh Rojas on a sacrifice bunt with Varsho moving up to third. Pinch hitter Henry Ramos then drove a sacrifice fly to right to extend the lead to 6-4. The woes continued as David Peralta doubled to left. Matzek then walked Christian Walker intentionally and then struck out VanMeter to bring the inning to a merciful end.
Morton deserved a better as he was in control for most of the afternoon. He allowed five hits and three runs over six plus innings. He struck out eight and went over the 200 strikeout mark for the season.
Richard Rodriguez allowed a one-out double Kelly in the eighth but retired the next two hitters to keep it 6-4. However, Arizona’s bullpen sat retired the last six Braves in order to end the game.
The loss stings but the Braves still take three of four in the series. Their lead drops to 2.5 games in the NL East pending the outcome of the Phillies/Pirates matchup later tonight. Atlanta will continue their road trip in San Diego Friday.