The Diamondback bats fell familiarly silent Friday night in Atlanta, and the Braves rode three homeruns and a collection of strong pitching performances to defeat Arizona, 4-2, in the first game of the weekend series.
Michael Bourn homered off Daniel Hudson to lead off the bottom of the first inning and everything snowballed from there for the D-Backs. Atlanta's All-Star catcher Brian McCann followed up with a two-run shot in the bottom of the third, and Chipper Jones tacked on another blast in the sixth that pushed the Braves lead to four.
The Diamondbacks narrowed the gap in the top of the seventh when Sean Burroughs and Willie Bloomquist drew consecutive walks off left-handed reliever Eric O'Flaherty. After the pair moved to second and third on a fielder's choice, Justin Upton came up to the plate and knocked a two-run double to deep center. That would be all though, as Miguel Montero grounded out to second to end the inning with the following at-bat.
The D-backs had one final chance in the top of the ninth inning, as Kelly Johnson and Willie Bloomquist reached base on a bunt single and a walk, respectively. With two-outs, two-on, and a chance to tie the game, Upton stood toe-to-toe with Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, but weakly grounded out to end the game.
Derek Lowe (8-11, 4.73) picked up the win, pitching five superb innings while giving up just four hits and striking out seven. Kimbrel walked away with his major-league leading 38th save after completing a rocky ninth.
Hudson (12-9, 3.83) was unable to overcome the Braves power, notching his second loss of the month while giving up four runs over six innings.
After tearing through mid-August on a seven-game winning streak, the D-backs have now lost three straight. Luckily the Giants failed to muster up any offense against the mighty Houston Astros, so Arizona's lead in the NL West remains at 2.5 games.
The Diamondbacks (69-56) begin the second game of their series against Atlanta (74-52) tomorrow afternoon at 4:10 p.m. MT. Freshly called-up lefthander Wade Miley (0-0, 0.00) will make his first MLB start against Brandon Beachy (5-2, 3.43).