Arizona D-Backs' Offense Backs Dan Haren; Bullpen Barely Holds On for 7-4 Win Over Atlanta Braves
The 26th (and final) pitch by Diamondbacks closer Chad Qualls brought a sigh of relief for fans accustomed to seeing Qualls and the bullpen blow leads this season.
Qualls, who earned his 11th save on the year, got Yunel Escobar to hit into a game-ending double play to secure the Snakes 7-4 win over the Atlanta Braves last night at Chase Field.
Not that Qualls or the bullpen made their night an easy one.
The Braves had the bases loaded in both the 8th and 9th innings and only came away with one measly run.
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Most D-Backs' fans probably didn't have much faith in the worst bullpen in the majors, so seeing men on base late in the game probably wasn't much of a shocker for D-Backs fans, but the preservation of the win was different.
The offense, led by Stephen Drew and Conor Jackson, produced timely hitting to score seven runs off Braves starter Derek Lowe, who got the boot by the fifth inning.
With three straight hits to start the bottom of the first, the D-Backs managed to stake a 2-0 lead early in the game. Drew got the party started with an RBI single, while Jackson scored on Adam LaRoche's fielder's choice.
Atlanta got one back in the top of the fourth against Snakes' starter Dan Haren on Melky Cabrera's fielder's choice.
Haren was effective but not brilliant as he lasted 5 2/3 innings while giving up nine hits and three earned runs. And he got much more offensive help than his last outing.
Leading 2-1 entering the bottom frame of the fourth, the D-Backs' jumped on Lowe for five runs to firmly grab control of the game.
Thanks to Mark Reynolds' 13th homer of the season and Jackson's RBI infield single, Arizona pushed their lead to three. That lead then doubled after Drew's bases-clearing triple put the D-Backs' up 7-1.
Haren and the bullpen managed to give up three more runs, but the offensive firepower was just enough for the shaky D-Backs' staff.
The second game of the four-game series between the teams is tomorrow night at Chase Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. For more info, check out dbacks.com.
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