Atlanta Braves left-hander Alex Wood (4-2) not only threw a gem Monday night, but he helped himself at the plate en route to an 8-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the win the Braves are over .500 and two and half games behind the first place Washington Nationals.
Wood, 24, went eight innings allowing one run on seven hits without walking a single batter and striking out four. The funky left-hander through a season-high 113 pitches tonight, 77 of which were strikes. Despite Arizona’s ballpark being hitter friendly, Wood was able to use the big parts of the ballpark and induced 15 fly ball outs. In his last three starts, Wood is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.23.
Diamondbacks starter Archie Bradley (2-3) wasn’t as affective as he only went five innings where he gave up five runs on eight hits. Bradley struggled with command as walked three batters while striking out only one. The prized right-hander hasn’t performed as well since he was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. In his last four starts, Bradley is 0-3 with a 10.91 ERA.
Not only did Alex Wood flat out deal on the mound, he got the offense started with a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded. A.J. Pierzynski and Jonny Gomes started the two-out rally leading to two-run single up the middle by Wood. After Jace Peterson walked to the load the bases again, Andrelton Simmons gave the Braves a 3-0 lead with an RBI single. Simmons extended his hit streak to 10 games as he went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Atlanta’s offensive onslaught continued in the fifth inning when Freddie Freeman crushed a two-run homerun to right center field. That’s Freeman’s second-straight game with a homerun as he took Giants closer Santiago Casilla deep in the ninth inning that ignited a Braves offense that came back to win the game. The All-Star first baseman added another RBI in the sixth inning with a single to right field extending the Braves lead to 7-1. Jace Peterson drove in a run earlier in that inning with a double to left field. Juan Uribe recorded an RBI infield single in the ninth inning to give Atlanta an 8-1 lead.
Arizona seemed to lack energy, with good reason, as they are coming off a 17-inning loss on the road to the Milwaukee Brewers. Combine the tough loss that took exactly five hours and 49 minutes and flight back to Arizona, it’s easy to understand their performance. The Diamondbacks are the number one run scoring offense in the National League, and Alex Wood was able to hold them to one run, a sac-fly in the fifth, in their home ballpark.
The Diamondbacks could’ve scored more runs in that fifth inning after the Ender Inciarte sac-fly, but the rookie out of Cuba Yasmany Tomas was thrown out at second base by Todd Cunningham as he tried to tag up from first base. That double play ended the inning and ended the Arizona threat.
The Braves will be sending RHP Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.48 ERA) to mound tomorrow night to try and extend Atlanta’s win streak to four games. The Diamondbacks will send RHP Josh Collmenter (3-5, 5.05 ERA) to the bump. In his last two starts, Collmenter has pitched better as he’s given up only two runs apiece in those aforementioned starts.