Diamondbacks snap Braves’ winning streak
PHOENIX - Ian Kennedy took advantage of Arizona’s early offensive outburst.
Gerardo Parra hit his first career grand slam to cap a five-run second inning and the Diamondbacks beat the red-hot Atlanta Braves, 6-4, Sunday, snapping a five-game losing streak.
Atlanta had won five in a row.
“We ran into a hot ball club,’’ said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. “This feels pretty good. It makes you smile. It’s been a while since we’ve shaken hands after a game.’’
Michael Bourn had three hits, walked once, and scored twice for the Braves. Atlanta lost for the second time since April 9.
“It’s nice having a 5-1 lead going into the third inning,’’ Kennedy said. “You can be a little more aggressive with the guys in the middle of the lineup.’’
Parra was starting in the unfamiliar territory of center field with the absence of Chris Young and he made the most of the opportunity, finishing with two hits and a stolen base in four at-bats.
“I feel comfortable any time I see myself in the lineup,’’ Parra said. “I’ll play anywhere as long as I get to play.’’
Kennedy (3-0) posted his seventh straight win dating to last August. The Diamondbacks helped him by scoring more than two runs for the first time in four games.
“I feel like last year is last year,’’ Kennedy said. “I just try to go out there with the same approach I’ve had for the last year and a half. As a pitcher you remember the frustrating times and only the really good times.’’
Kennedy allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings. David Hernandez retired the side in the eighth and J.J. Putz earned his fifth save despite allowing a one-out home run to Juan Francisco.
Randall Delgado (2-1) retired the first two Arizona batters in the second. Jason Kubel then singled, Cody Ransom doubled, and John McDonald was intentionally walked to load the bases. Delgado walked Kennedy on four pitches before Parra hit a drive into the pool area beyond the fence in right-center field for a 5-1 lead.
“I was trying to stay down in the zone but it stayed up,’’ Delgado said.
Delgado went 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs and three hits. He struck out six, walked four, and hit two batters.
“It was a good learning experience,’’ said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. “He gets two quick outs in an inning then next thing you know there’s a five spot put on the board. It’s a young pitcher, a young pitcher that needs to mature and get into those situations and doesn’t let the innings get away from him.’’
Bourn sped the Braves to a 1-0 lead in the first when he led off the game with a double to deep center, took third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Freddie Freeman.
Bourn also scored Atlanta’s second run, singling in the third and coming around on Martin Prado’s double down the left field line.
Prado contributed with his glove, too, taking away an apparent home run from Miguel Montero in the third with a leaping catch just to the right of the 376-foot sign in left field.
Delgado recorded his first career hit with one out in the fifth, went to second on Bourn’s single, and later scored on a single by Freeman to pull Atlanta to 5-3.
Parra singled, stole second, and scored on a double by Aaron Hill for a 6-3 Arizona lead in the seventh.