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Atlanta beats Arizona thanks to Freeman, Santana
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Freddie Freeman knocked in two runs to back a strong start from Ervin Santana, and the Atlanta Braves took a 5-2 decision over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a three-game set.
Santana (7-5) hurled 7 1/3 innings and was charged with two runs, six hits and struck out six to earn the win.
Andrelton Simmons, Justin Upton and Jason Heyward each knocked in a run for the Braves, who have won eight straight.
"We've done a good job of putting runs up," Upton said. "Pitching has done a good job of shutting down and keeping us in the game."
Josh Collmenter (7-5) took the loss after giving up five runs on 11 hits over six-plus innings of work. Arizona had dropped four of its last five.
B.J. Upton singled to open the game for Atlanta, stole second and moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt from Simmons. Freeman poked a single into right that scored Upton. Justin Upton doubled to left to put two runners in scoring position before Heyward plated Freeman with an RBI groundout to give the Braves a 2-0 lead.
Arizona cut the deficit in half in the second. Martin Prado singled then moved over to third on successive groundouts from Gerardo Parra and Nick Ahmed. Santana proceeded to uncork a wild pitch that allowed Prado to cross home before Didi Gregorius flied out to left.
"It's hard to explain," Prado said of the team's recent struggles. "We're trying everything we can to turn around things. It ain't happening."
The D-backs have lost four of their last five overall, including 10 of their last 11 appearances in Atlanta.
Tommy La Stella and Gerald Laird both hit singles with no outs in the home half of the second. Santana attempted to bunt the two over, but Paul Goldschmidt made a nice play to get the lead runner at third. B.J. Upton singled on a blooper to right that load the bases and Simmons followed with an RBI single to left that plated Laird for 3-1 lead.
Freeman flied out and Justin Upton pushed in another run with a two-out walk that scored Santana.
Freeman followed a Simmons double with an RBI single to center that increased the host cushion to 5-1.
With runners on the corners and one out in the eighth, David Peralta knocked in Gregorius with a groundout to bring the visitors within 5-2.
Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his 27th save of the season.
Santana entered the game with a 2-0 record and 0.82 ERA against the D-backs ... Arizona went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
07/04 23:17:53 ET