A sellout crowd filled Turner Field on Friday night and had a grand time watching the Braves do what they’ve done a lot lately – pitch extremely well, manufacture runs without benefit of homers, and win. They scored four runs in the first two innings and pitcher Ervin Santana was strong into the eighth inning to lead the Braves past the Diamondbacks 5-2 and extend their season-high winning streak to eight games. Santana (7-5) won his second consecutive start, allowing six hits and two runs in 7 1/3 innings with one walk and six strikeouts. His first run scored on a wild pitch, and the second run charged to Santana scored after he left the game in the eighth inning. He’s 3-0 with an 1.23 ERA in four career starts against the Diamondbacks. Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout for his 27th save in 31 opportunities. B.J. Upton extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a leadoff single in the first inning and added a single in the second to give him his first multi-hit game in the streak, which matched the longest of his career. In the first inning Upton stole second base, advanced on an Andrelton Simmons sacrifice and scored on Freddie Freeman’s single to put the Braves ahead 1-0, a lead they would never relinquish and an example of their recent improvements at getting a runner on, getting him over and getting him in. The Braves have hit just two home runs during their winning streak and none in the past five games. After going 11-25 in their first 36 homerless games, the Braves are 6-0 in homerless games during the winning streak. After sweeping the Phillies and Mets, the Braves opened a three-game series against the Diamondbacks with a win that moved them to 10 games over .500 (48-38) for the first time since they started 17-7. The Braves also increased their lead to 1 ½ games over the second-place Nationals in the National League East standings. The crowd of 48,815 was the largest of the season at Turner Field. Justin Upton doubled after Freeman’s RBI single in the first inning, and Jason Heyward’s groundout pushed the lead to 2-0. Longtime former Brave Martin Prado scored after singling to start the Diamondbacks’ second inning. He advanced on a pair of groundouts and came home on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 2-1. The Braves answered with two more runs in the second inning on four singles and a bases-loaded walk. After consecutive hits by Tommy La Stella and Gerald Laird to start the inning and a failed sac bunt attempt by Santana, B.J. Upton hit a bloop single to load the bases and Simmons singled in a run.
No HRs, no problem — Braves beat D-backs 5-2 to push win streak to 8
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jul 5