EditorsNote: changes Garcia’s losing streak to four
Braves complete three-game sweep of slumping Diamondbacks
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves, swept by Arizona in a three-game home series last year, got payback by completing a sweep of their own Sunday as the Diamondbacks’ recent struggles continued.
Matt Kemp and Matt Adams homered, Brandon Phillips had three doubles and the Braves won 7-1 as left-hander Jaime Garcia ended his four-game losing streak.
“That’s a good team we swept,” Kemp said. “We’ve just got to keep going, but it’s a step in the right direction. This month is going to decide us going forward and where we stand.”
Garcia, who hadn’t won since May 26 in San Francisco, allowed four hits in seven innings as the Diamondbacks (53-39) lost their fifth straight game.
Acquired from St. Louis during the winter, Garcia (3-7) improved to 6-1 against Arizona in his career. He struck out seven and walked three.
“That was a big start by Jaime,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “That was a shot in the arm.”
Garcia said, “It was good to do it against a good lineup. I‘m not going to lie. The ‘W’ felt good.”
The Braves (45-45) have won 16 of their last 24 games to get to .500 after April for the first time since July 7, 2015.
“We went into the break off a pretty good series in Washington and you can’t say enough about what they just did,” Snitker said of his team. “Getting to .500 is a hurdle. It’s nice to get there. But the way we’ve played, I feel we should be about five over instead of at .500.”
Arizona, which hadn’t dropped more than three games in a row until this series, has lost 10 of 13 games.
“We played pretty good the first half. Obviously being swept two of the past three series is a big deal,” Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis said. “We’re just not clicking on all cylinders at this moment.”
Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley (3-4) came in with a 2.58 ERA but allowed seven runs (six earned) in six innings. Although the right-hander struck out a career-high nine, six of the eight hits he allowed went for extra bases.
Ender Inciarte had a single and double for the Braves, scoring twice and finishing the series 7-for-13.
Phillips had his second straight three-hit game, driving in two runs and scoring once.
The veteran second baseman was in an 8-for-53 slump before getting three hits, including a homer and double, in Saturday’s 8-5 victory by the Braves.
Phillips’ first RBI double gave the Braves the lead after three pitches and they added an unearned run in the second before turning to the long ball in the third.
Kemp picked on a first-pitch fastball with two on for his 13th homer, breaking a drought of nearly a month, and Adams followed an out later by turning on a 1-2 breaking ball for his 15th blast of the season.
“Guys have been giving me a hard time about not hitting the ball out of the ballpark, so it felt good to get that one,” said Kemp, who had last homered on June 21.
It was the first time the Braves had hit two homers in an inning since pinch-hitter Lane Adams and Phillips went deep in an eight-run fifth inning against San Francisco on June 22.
Paul Goldschmidt singled in a run for the Diamondbacks in the fourth, but Phillips produced another RBI double in the bottom of the inning.
“This is a very resilient group. They have been all year,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “They should be proud of where they’re at. We know we’ve hit a little stumbling block and that’s part of the season, part of every baseball season.”
NOTES: The Diamondbacks placed RHP Randall Delgado on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation after he gave up four sixth-inning runs while getting two outs in a loss Saturday. ... RHP J.J. Hoover was activated by Arizona after being on the DL since June 23 because of right shoulder inflammation. Atlanta bench coach Terry Pendleton, the National League MVP in 1991, turned 57 Sunday. ... The Braves open a three-game home series against the Chicago Cubs on Monday with RHP Julio Teheran (7-6, 4.79 ERA) facing LHP Jon Lester (5-6, 4.25). ... The Diamondbacks are idle Monday before beginning a three-game series in Cincinnati. LHP Robbie Ray (8-4, 2.97) will start Tuesday and fellow All-Star Game pick RHP Zack Greinke (11-4, 2.86) the next day.