Justin Upton homers in return to Arizona
Outfielder's 4-hit night keys Braves win
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson knows the Atlanta Braves are an opportunistic team.
"This team, you don't want to give them anything because you know they are going to hit a home run," Gibson said after the Diamondbacks 10-1 loss to the Braves on Monday night, Arizona's third straight defeat. "That is what they do well. We put guys on and they hit home runs."
Few were more opportunistic than right-fielder Justin Upton, who ended a 14-game homerless drought, doubled and finished with four hits.
Upton, the first overall pick by Arizona in the 2005 amateur draft, was playing his first game at Chase Field since the off-season trade that sent him and Chris Johnson to Atlanta in a seven-player deal.
"The home run he hit was a changeup out over the middle of the plate," Gibson said. "It's not where you want to put that pitch and, as he has been doing this year, he got it."
Upton received a mixed reaction throughout the night, with the cheers barely outweighing the boos when he stepped in or took the field for the first time.
"It was mixed and that was what I expected," Upton said. "It is what it is. I tried to have fun with it. This time the fans were yelling at me instead of cheering me, but it was good."
Upton's home run came off left-hander Wade Miley, who faced only one batter over the minimum over his first four innings before fading badly in the fifth and sixth.
Johnson, who came to Arizona from Houston in a deadline deal last season, hit a two-run home run in the fifth to give the Braves a 3-1 lead.
In the sixth, Upton followed his brother B.J., who was hit on the left shoulder by Miley (3-2) to lead off the sixth and powered a pitch onto the porch above the centre field fence for his 13th home run and first since April 27 at Detroit.
But the Braves weren't done. Freddie Freeman doubled, Evan Gattis walked and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. McCann singled to right, scoring Freeman to make it 6-1. Johnson added a one-out double to left off reliever Josh Collmenter, driving in Gattis for a 7-1 lead.
Braves starter Mike Minor (5-2) allowed one run on eight hits over 6 2-3 innings and Brian McCann also homered for the Braves.