The Arizona Diamondbacks came into Atlanta riding a four-game winning streak.
Unfortunately for the D-backs, their streak would come to an end on Friday night as the Braves would defeat the Diamondbacks, 5-4.
Atlanta’s offense would set the tone early on as Braves third baseman Austin Riley got the best of D-backs’ starting pitcher Luke Weaver for a two-run home run in the second inning.
Braves pitcher Huascar Ynoa added some insurance to his cause with an RBI-single in the third inning to extend Atlanta’s lead to 3-0.
Weaver struggled throughout the night for Arizona giving up four runs in five innings of work.
However, Arizona’s offense would not go down without a fight on Friday.
D-backs catcher Carson Kelly would get the first runs for Arizona as he blasted a two-run home run to left field in the fifth inning, trimming Atlanta’s lead to 3-2.
“I got myself into a good count to get that heater and put a good swing on it. It put us right back in the ballgame.” Kelly said via Zoom postgame.
The catcher has shown more poise at the plate for the Diamondbacks, batting .351 to go along with 13 hits and four home runs in 14 games in 2021.
“I’ve made a lot of adjustments this offseason, just looking back at stuff from 2019 and 2020,” Kelly said. “I’ve taken things from there making it to what I want now and my process is very simple. The move is very repeatable and I’ve got a good foundation to rely on when things go off the rails a little bit.”
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has also noticed the hard work Kelly has been putting in this season.
“Behind the plate he does things easily and athletically,” Lovullo said via Zoom postgame. “He’s calling a great game, following a great game plan and then offensively, there’s just an easy-to-use approach.
“Everything’s loaded, he’s surveying the strike zone, he’s identifying balls and strikes and he’s locked in. Those are the moments that you’re always looking for as a player.”
Arizona would also respond with an RBI-double from shortstop Josh Rojas in the seventh inning to trim the Braves lead down to one.
The Diamondbacks’ bullpen did a good job of slowing down the Braves’ bats in the second half of the game, allowing just one earned run from relief pitcher Yoan López.
“We want (Lopez) to fearlessly attack the zone and the right places,” Lovullo said. “You make mistakes to good hitters in the wrong place and you’re going to suffer those consequences.
“(Lopez) threw a middle-middle fastball to a really good hitter, so I think we got to continue to pound away with him and all the others.”
Toward the end of the game, center fielder Pavin Smith reached home plate safe after a wild pitch from Braves pitcher Tyler Matzek to bring the score to 5-4.
Atlanta would hold onto that lead and get the victory.
Despite the loss, Lovullo admired the toughness he saw from his squad.
“We just got to keep fighting we got to keep doing what we do best,” he said. “Those are the things that I’m watching this team do night in and night out. Have the bend don’t break mentality and just keep getting after and we will.”