ATLANTA (AP) – Christian Walker continued his remarkable late-innings production with a two-run homer in the seventh, Luke Weaver got Arizona off to a good start and the Diamondbacks beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep.
Walker, who struck out in his first three at-bats against Braves starter Mike Soroka, lined the opposite-field homer to right-center off Chad Sobotka following a single by Adam Jones. It was Walker’s sixth homer – all in the seventh inning or later. He added a double in the ninth.
Weaver (1-1) struck out nine in five scoreless innings, fanning the last five batters he faced. He allowed four hits.
The Diamondbacks have won four straight, including their first sweep of the Braves since 2016.
Arizona led 4-0 before Freddie Freeman led off the eighth with a homer against Matt Andriese.
Yoshihisa Hirano, who earned the win in the opening game of the series, gave up a one-out single to Ender Inciarte in the ninth. Hirano struck out pinch-hitter Josh Donaldson and ended the game on Ozzie Albies’ flyball for his first save.
Soroka (0-1) allowed one run in five innings in his 2019 debut. He was shut down in spring training with right shoulder tendinitis after missing the final three months of the 2018 with a sore shoulder.
Pinch-hitter Nick Ahmed’s double drove in Tim Locastro in Arizona’s three-run seventh.
Soroka escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth. After an intentional walk to Jones loaded the bases, Soroka struck out Walker and ended the inning on Ketel Marte’s grounder to first base.
The Diamondbacks took a 1-0 lead in the first on consecutive singles by Wilmer Flores and David Peralta, a wild pitch and a run-scoring groundout by Jones.
Inciarte, running toward the infield, made a diving catch in center field of a sinking liner hit by Ildemaro Vargas in the sixth with runners on first and second.
Ronald Acuña Jr. singled to left field in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to nine games. He struck out three times.
Diamondbacks: LHP T.J. McFarland (left shoulder inflammation) had his scheduled rehab stint at Triple-A Reno postponed by rain Wednesday and pushed back to a doubleheader Thursday.
Braves: Soroka threw 85 pitches, 58 for strikes, after throwing 49 and 70 in his two rehab starts for Triple-A Gwinnett. … RHP Shane Carle was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett to clear a roster spot for Soroka.
Diamondbacks: Arizona’s 10-game road trip next includes a series at Wrigley Field starting Friday when rookie RHP Merrill Kelly (1-1, 3.79) faces the Cubs.
Braves: RHP Touki Toussaint (1-0, 0.00) will make his second start of the season when the Braves open a three-game series at Cleveland on Friday night. Toussaint, originally scheduled to start on Thursday, had the outing pushed back to give him extra rest.
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