On a day of plentiful player news and movement, the Arizona Diamondbacks failed to take advantage of the upheaval above them in the NL West standings and lost a second straight game to the Atlanta Braves, this one 6-4, at Turner Field Wednesday night.
Jason Heyward hit a solo home run in the first inning off D-backs starter Trevor Cahill, and the Braves tacked on three more runs in the fifth on a walk, a single, a throwing error by Cahill, two more walks and a pair of sacrifice flies.
Atlanta's Tommy Hanson handled Arizona with relative ease until the seventh inning, giving up two hits in the sixth with Justin Upton reaching third base. But Hanson struck out Jason Kubel to end that inning.
Chipper Jones hit a home run just as the strains of his at-bat song, Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train," faded out with the first pitch he saw in bottom of the sixth. That came after a walk, and made it 6-0. Cahill's night was over.
The Diamondbacks had scored just one run on their last 36 innings played on the road, dating back to games on their last road trip to Anaheim to play the L.A. Angels. That was until Ryan Roberts feasted on a fastball up from Hanson and took it over the wall in left field for a three-run homer to cut the Braves lead in half.
That was all for Hanson after 6 1/3 innings, but the Diamondbacks weren't done even though they couldn't come all the way back.
They certainly tried. Chris Young greeted relief pitcher Jonny Venters with a pinch-hit home run, Young's sixth of the season and first ever pinch-hit home run. It was also his first blast since April 16, before he had to go on the disabled list.
The Diamondbacks got runners on first and second with one out in the eighth against pitcher Eric O'Flaherty, but Miguel Montero hit into a 4-6-3 double play on which Braves second baseman Dan Uggla made a sliding stop of Montero's sharp grounder.
The D-backs are back to .500 (37-37) and five games behind co-leaders Los Angeles and San Francisco, with rookie starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (11-1 in 16 minor-league starts this season) to make his highly-anticipated major-league debut Thursday against the Braves.
Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew's first at-bat in almost a year was a ground ball out to second base. But at least he's back, and he looked pretty excited to be back in the D-backs' dugout before the game. Drew fielded his first ground ball in the third inning and made a routine play, and got his first hit in almost a year of ankle rehab with a bloop single on which he hustled to second base on an error in the outfield.