DIAMONDBACKS 6 BRAVES 5
By BOB BAUM
PHOENIX — Chase Anderson said the perfect start to his major league career “feels amazing,” and the Arizona Diamondbacks feel the same way about the young right-hander.
Anderson pitched seven innings to become the third pitcher since 1998 to win his first five major league starts, leading the Diamondbacks to a 6-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt each hit a two-run homer in Arizona’s six-run seventh inning. It was Peralta’s first major league homer.
Anderson (5-0) had a career-best eight strikeouts. He allowed two runs and five hits on his way to becoming the first pitcher to win his first five starts since Jered Weaver won seven straight in 2006.
“Words don’t describe that,” Anderson said, “just going 1-0, 2-0. Each time I go out there I’m just trying to give the team a chance to win. ... 5-0 feels amazing.”
The Diamondbacks have scored 45 runs in Anderson’s five wins.
“Geez, when you get that kind of run support it’s not too hard to go out there and win games,” he said.
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said Anderson “really threw one of his strongest games for us. He made a mistake to (Justin Upton). ... But other than that, very good.”
Upton, Freddie Freeman and Ramiro Pena homered for the Braves, who lost two of three in Arizona. Aaron Harang (4-5) issued six walks in six-plus innings, and was charged with three runs and four hits.
Brad Ziegler, closing instead of home run-plagued Addison Reed, gave up a leadoff homer to Pena but retired the next three for his first save of the season.
Gibson said Reed “has a tired arm, nothing serious.”
Harang (4-5) was working on a two-hitter before Aaron Hill led off the seventh with a single. Peralta then drove the next pitch over the wall in center, tying it at 2.
“He threw me a curveball. He just was hanging it,” Peralta said. “I just made my best swing. I saw the ball flying and I was just ‘OK, I got that one.’ It feels good. I couldn’t stop laughing or smiling.”
Peralta went 2 for 4 and is batting .429 in seven games since being called up from Double-A Mobile.
Harang then walked Cody Ross and was through for the day. Chris Owings added a two-run single off right-hander David Hale, and Goldschmidt hit one far above the 413-foot sign in left-center for a 6-2 lead.
Owings was hitless in nine at-bats in the series before his base hit.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez let Harang bat in the sixth.
“You have to let him back out there (in the seventh),” Gonzalez said. “Yeah, he had some walks but we felt comfortable that he could maneuver through the lineup. A base hit and a two-run homer ties it. That seventh inning just unraveled on us.”
The Braves responded with two in the eighth, but lost out on an opportunity for more. Freeman connected against Joe Thatcher, and Tommy La Stella had an RBI single. Andrelton Simmons walked to load the bases before Evan Marshall struck out Gerald Laird to end the inning.
Atlanta jumped in front on Upton’s two-run drive in the sixth, and that looked as if it might be enough for Harang for a while.
Peralta’s leadoff single in the fifth was Arizona’s first hit of the game. The Diamondbacks went on to load the bases on Anderson’s bunt for his first major league hit, but failed to score.
Anderson got some help from his defense in the fifth. Third baseman Martin Prado made a diving stop of Laird’s grounder, and then falling backward threw from his right knee to first, where Goldschmidt snagged it on one bounce for the out.
NOTES: Atlanta’s Jason Heyward went 0 for 5, ending his 11-game hitting streak. ... On Monday, Arizona begins a four-game set with the Astros, the first two in Phoenix, the last two in Houston. Josh Collmenter (4-2, 3.63 ERA) starts the opener for Arizona, Jarred Cosart (4-5, 4.16 ERA) goes for the Astros. ... Atlanta moves on to a four-game set in Colorado. On Monday, the Braves send Gavin Floyd (0-2, 2.80 ERA) to the mound against the Rockies’ Christian Bergman in his major league debut.
Arizona Diamondbacks' Miguel Monterom right, walks to the mound to celebrate their win as Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman walks to the dugout after striking out to end the baseball game, Sunday, June 8, 2014, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 6-5. (AP Photo/Matt York)×