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Shelby Miller beats former Atlanta teammates as Diamondbacks top struggling Braves 4-2
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ATLANTA — Shelby Miller’s return to Atlanta brought a return to his winning form as he threw six strong innings for his first victory and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 on Saturday night.

Miller (1-3) allowed two runs on four hits and one walk. He was traded from the Braves to Arizona on Dec. 8.

The loss left the Braves 1-14 in home games. The Braves (7-22) are off to the worst start in franchise history since 1900.

Jake Lamb had two doubles and drove in a run in Arizona’s two-run third inning that tied the game at 2-all. Brandon Drury’s run-scoring double off reliever Bud Norris in the sixth gave the Diamondbacks the lead.

Miller brought an ugly 8.49 ERA into the game after giving up 22 runs in his first 23 1/3 innings. He appeared to be headed for another tough start when he gave up a first-inning home run to Freddie Freeman and allowed another run in the second.

Brad Ziegler pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.

Miller appeared to be having more problems with his follow-through in the second. He shook his right hand after appearing to hit it on his shoe following a pitch. Following a visit from pitching coach Mike Butcher, Miller escaped with only one run allowed in the inning after loading the bases with no outs.

He finished strong with four scoreless innings.

The Braves’ underpowered offense finally worked to Miller’s advantage. He was 6-17 with the Braves in 2015 despite his strong 3.02 ERA. He set a Braves franchise record by going 24 consecutive starts without a win before finally snapping the streak by beating the Cardinals in his final start of the season.

Julio Teheran allowed two runs, one earned, in five innings.

Norris (1-5), who lost his spot in the rotation after posting an 8.74 ERA in five starts, walked Wellington Castillo to open the sixth. Castillo scored on Drury’s double to left field, sliding under A.J. Pierzynski’s tag at the plate.

Ender Inciarte started in left field in his return from the disabled list. In the transaction announced Friday night, Adonis Garcia was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Inciarte will play center field when Mallex Smith sits against left-handers.

Smith’s bases-loaded fly ball to left field in the second inning drove in Reid Brignac, whose bunt single toward third base against the shift started the inning.


Diamondbacks: A stiff neck kept OF-IF Yasmany Tomas out of the lineup for the second straight game. Manager Chip Hale disclosed the ailment on Saturday. He said Tomas couldn’t take batting practice on Friday but felt better on Saturday.

Braves: IF Gordon Beckham (strained left hamstring) could come off the 15-day DL early next week.


Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin (1-3, 4.91) will try to extend his streak of 16 2/3 scoreless innings against Atlanta in Sunday’s final game of the series. It is the longest stretch of consecutive innings by an Arizona pitcher against an opponent to start a career. He is 2-0 against Atlanta in three games, including two starts.

Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-1, 9.82) will make his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on May 2. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and four runs in a 4-1 loss to the Mets in his first start.

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