Bumgarner, D-backs face Braves, aim to get wins

Field Level Media

April 24, 2021 at 12:29 pm.

Madison Bumgarner has been a nuisance to the Atlanta Braves throughout his career, and he will have another chance to frustrate them when his visiting Arizona Diamondbacks play the second game of a three-game series at Truist Park on Saturday.

Bumgarner is 7-3 with a 2.73 ERA in 13 career games against Atlanta, all as a member of the San Francisco Giants. He has allowed 25 earned runs in 82 1/3 innings all-time against the Braves.

The Braves won the opening game of the three-game series 5-4 on Friday night to end Arizona’s four-game winning streak. On Saturday, Bumgarner (1-2, 8.68) will be opposed by Atlanta’s Drew Smyly (0-0, 5.73) in a battle of two veteran left-handers.

Bumgarner was sharp in his most recent start on April 18 against Washington, picking up the win after going five innings and allowing one run on two hits. He had been shaky in his first three starts, allowing 17 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings.

“He’s a tough man,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “He went out and executed and won a baseball game. I’m proud of him for that because nobody knows what he’s walking through. He put San Francisco on his shoulders for several years and now those are his expectations.”

Smyly is coming off a stint on the 10-day injured list for left forearm inflammation. In two starts, he has worked 11 innings and allowed nine runs, seven earned, with 11 strikeouts and only one walk. He has never faced Arizona.

Arizona’s David Peralta was 1-for-4 on Friday. Over the past 10 games, the left fielder is hitting .368 (14-for-38) with two doubles, one triple, two homers, 14 RBI and six walks.

Catcher Carson Kelly continued his power display on Friday night by hitting his fifth homer. Kelly has four homers and eight RBI in the eight games on the current road trip, but Kelly’s streak of games drawing a walk ended at 10 games in the series opener.

Atlanta got right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. back from a strained right abdominal and he went 0-for-4. But Acuna showed no effects from the injury and made a nice throw to hold a runner at third base on a fly ball.

Austin Riley homered for the second straight game, a 432-foot shoot that got the Braves on the board. Over the past five games, Riley is batting .462 (6-for-13) and has raised his season average to .255.

“It’s been better,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said of Riley. “The walks, the at-bats have been more solid. Those are positives you look for that can get guys going. He’s so good at third, too. I hope he gets confident in things. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not for lack of work or caring or wanting. He’s got all the above.”

Freddie Freeman was hitless on Friday and saw his eight-game streak of reaching base come to an end. He had reached safely 20 times over those eight games – nine hits, 10 walks, one hit by pitch — and had a .513 on-base percentage over that time.