Hummel’s hit in 10th rallies Diamondbacks past Braves 8-7
PHOENIX (AP) — Cooper Hummel ripped a few baseballs early in the game that came off his bat at over 100 miles per hour. They were outs.
Then in the 10th inning, he got jammed and hit a little floater into right field. It was a game-winning double.
“The game’s weird in that regard,” Hummel said.
And on Tuesday night, it had a happy ending for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hummel’s game-deciding double landed just fair down the right-field line and gave the D-backs a come-from-behind 8-7 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta led 6-2 going into the bottom of the sixth but Arizona rallied with two runs in the sixth and another in the eighth. The D-backs tied the game in the ninth on Daulton Varsho’s sacrifice fly off Kenley Jansen, who blew his third save in 15 chances.
The Braves recovered quickly. Dansby Swanson started the 10th inning as the automatic runner on second base and was driven home by Marcell Ozuna, whose single made it 7-6.
But Arizona had one more rally left. David Peralta’s one-out single scored Jake McCarthy to tie it at 7.
Then it was Hummel’s turn. The rookie was hitless in four at-bats prior to his clutch double, which wasn’t hit particularly hard but drifted over the infield and landed fair as the dejected Braves trudged off the field.
“This team’s really resilient,” Hummel said. “We grind out at-bats, we grind out games. If it’s not one guy, it’s the next guy.”
Mark Melancon (1-5) got the win. Jackson Stephens (1-2) took the loss.
The loss ruined a big day by Atlanta’s Matt Olson, who hit a two-run homer in the fourth and a two-run double in the fifth.
The Braves jumped ahead 3-2 in the fourth inning on Olson’s sixth homer of the year, a scorched 113-mph shot into the team’s bullpen down the line beyond the right-field wall. He had another key hit in the fifth, driving a full-count fastball into the left-center gap that scored Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozuna and gave the Braves a 5-2 lead.
The Braves were hurt by a few baserunning blunders: Acuña got thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple, and Ozuna was thrown out a third in the 10th when trying to go for an extra base.
“We didn’t play well enough to win,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Shot ourselves in the foot. We didn’t play a good ballgame. We did too many things to hurt ourselves.”
Atlanta starter Charlie Morton gave up four runs over five innings.
Olson’s big hits were reminiscent of his first few weeks in a Braves uniform, when he hit better than .300 for most of April. The Braves acquired the 28-year-old in an offseason trade with the A’s and the first baseman has had the unenviable task of taking over for franchise icon Freddie Freeman, who signed with the Dodgers.
The Diamondbacks took an early 2-0 lead on Christian Walker’s two-run homer in the first. Walker finished with three hits and a walk. Arizona staring pitcher Humberto Castellanos gave up five runs over 4 2/3 innings.
Arizona’s Ketel Marte extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the ninth. Varsho scored three times.
“This team’s got a great heartbeat, great fight and they’re hungry,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, because there’s a long way to go, but this is a victory we’re going to enjoy.”
ALL OR NOTHING
At his current pace, Walker could become the first player in MLB history to hit below .200 and have 40 homers in a season. He got a boost with his three-hit night on Tuesday but is still batting just .208 with 13 homers. The D-backs have played a little less one-third of their schedule.
Joey Gallo holds the record for most homers while batting under .200, swatting 38 long balls in 2021 while hitting .199 during time with the Rangers and Yankees.
The two teams wrap up their three-game series on Wednesday afternoon. The D-backs will start LHP Madison Bumgarner (2-3, 3.35 ERA) on the mound. The Braves will counter with RHP Kyle Wright (4-3. 2.68).
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