PHOENIX (AP) — The Atlanta Braves were down to their last out, the difference between a successful series and disappointment hanging in the balance.
With one swing of the bat, Eddie Rosario sent the ball over the wall and the Braves back home with some momentum.
Rosario hit a grand slam off Miguel Castro with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Braves rallied to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 on Sunday.
“You knew he just needed a pitch to hit,” Braves starter Michael Soroka said. “Sure enough he got one right down Broadway and he didn’t miss it. It was nice to have him bail us out there.”
Ketel Marte hit a two-run homer and rookie Corbin Carroll connected for a solo shot to help Arizona to a 5-3 lead through seven innings.
Matt Olson hit a run-scoring single in the eighth, pulling the Braves within a run.
Castro (3-2) opened the ninth by walking Michael Harris II, and Ronald Acuña Jr. lined a single before stealing second. Castro then struck out Matt Olson and intentionally walked Austin Riley to load the bases.
Castro appeared as if he might escape the jam after retiring Travis d'Arnaud on a soft liner, but Rosario just cleared the wall in right for his eighth homer.
“The outcome is painful because we care and it hurts so much,” said Arizona manager Torey Lovullo, who had his contract extended one year through 2024. “But I'm not going to let it distract me from the good things that I saw.”
A.J. Minter (3-5) got the final two outs in the eighth inning, and Raisel Iglesias worked around a walk in the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
Ozzie Albies hit a two-run homer in the fourth and had four of Atlanta's 14 hits. The Braves had 25 combined hits to win the final two games of the series.
“I liked how we hung around in that game,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “That showed the kind of mettle we have and what these guys are made of.”
Arizona starter Zac Gallen had been baseball’s best home starter this season, entering Sunday’s game 6-0 with a 0.66 ERA at Chase Field.
The right-hander didn’t seem quite as comfortable against the Braves.
Atlanta had two hard-hit singles in the first inning and Gallen missed high on several pitches, throwing 12 balls among 25 pitches.
Gallen continued to labor in the second, giving up a run on Orlando Arcia's double play. Gallen left another pitch up in the fourth and Albies tomahawked it out to right, tying it at 3.
Marte saved a run for Gallen in the fifth, making a diving stop on d'Arnaud's grounder with a runner on second. Gallen struck out six and walked one in 110 pitches.
“I pushed him a little today and he responded,” Lovullo said. “He was fighting to make pitches all game and he made them when he had to.”
Soroka made his second start since missing nearly two years with two Achilles tendon tears.
The big right-hander was sharp against Arizona — until he got two outs.
Soroka allowed five runs — all with two outs — and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
“Got to be a little better attacking right through,” Soroka said. “Most of the damage was done with two outs and that's not quite me.”
Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna hit a ball 415 feet in the fourth – for a single.
The towering shot looked as if it was either going over the wall or into the glove of Arizona center fielder Jake McCarthy.
The ball instead hit an overhang just below the line for a home run. Ozuna was not running hard while watching the ball and had to stop at first.
Snitker replaced him with Sean Murphy in the sixth.
“I guarantee he feels worse than I do for having to take him out,” Snitker said.
Diamondbacks: DH Christian Walker went 1 for 3 in his return to the lineup after missing Saturday’s game due to food poisoning.
Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (3-0, 1.92 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday against the New York Mets following an off day.
Diamondbacks: Get a day off before LHP Tommy Henry (3-1, 3.73 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game series at Washington on Tuesday.
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