A four-run fifth inning bailed out Arizona Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy as the D-backs beat the visiting Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Wednesday at Chase Field. The D-backs took two out of three from Atlanta in former D-back star Justin Upton's return to Chase, where he'd spent his entire career until being traded to the Braves during the offseason.
Kennedy hadn't won a game since his Opening Day victory. It looked as though it might stay that way when he gave up a two-run double to Freddie Freeman in the top of the fifth, giving the Braves a 3-1 lead. With his pitch count at 100 by the time he got out of the inning, his day was done. But the D-backs offense came to life in the bottom of the fifth, scoring four runs, including a two-run double by third baseman Eric Chavez.
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Chavez, the 35-year-old six-time Gold Glove winner, has battled injuries for much of the past seven seasons after some excellent years with the Oakland A's in the early 2000s. He appeared to be slated as a bench warmer when he signed with the D-backs but quietly has proved a valuable addition, knocking in 16 runs already and hitting just over .300 on the season. If he can stay healthy, he will be well on his way to his best season since 2006, when he hit 22 homers and drove in 72 runs.
Paul Goldschmidt had three hits for the D-backs and Gerardo Parra continued his hot hitting with two knocks.
But the co-players of the game would have to be the D-backs bullpen, which held the Braves scoreless for four innings. Matt Reynolds, Brad Ziegler, David Hernandez, and even Heath Bell kept the game at 5-3 after the D-backs took the lead in the fifth. For Bell, it was his fifth save since taking over the closer's job from the injured J.J. Putz.
The D-backs will have the day off on Thursday before traveling to Miami to open a three-game series with the lowly Marlins. The D-backs' Trevor Cahill (2-4) will face Kevin Slowey (1-3). First pitch: 4:05 p.m. Radio: 620 KTAR AM. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. More info: www.dbacks.com.