Pollock's late HR gives Diamondbacks 7-6 win over Braves
PHOENIX (AP) Six years ago, at about this time of year, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected A.J. Pollock out of Notre Dame in the first round of the draft, the 17th player chosen overall.
The do-everything center fielder keeps showing how much he was worth it.
Pollock hit a two-out, two-run home run into the Chase Field swimming pool in the seventh inning and the Diamondbacks beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6 in a back-and-forth game Tuesday night.
''I just made a bad pitch and he crushed it,'' Atlanta reliever Brandon Cunniff said.
The homer was the 51st splashdown in the water beyond the right field fence since the ballpark opened in 1998. Pollock is hitting .314 while playing terrific defense.
''Definitely All-Star caliber,'' teammate and two-time All-Star Paul Goldschmidt said. ''He does it all.''
Ender Inciarte had two RBIs, two runs scored and two stolen bases for the Diamondbacks. He drew a two-out walk from Cunniff (2-1) and scored on Pollock's home run.
With the speedy Inciarte to worry about, Cunniff may have been a bit distracted, Pollock thought.
''I'm sure that had a little bit of a part of it,'' he said. ''I just got a pitch middle away. I was just trying to hit it in the gap and watch Ender run and hopefully get that tying run in and I'm fortunate it went over the fence.''
A.J. Pierzynski and Todd Cunningham each drove in a pair of runs in the Braves' five-run sixth inning after the Diamondbacks had taken a 4-1 lead off Shelby Miller.
Miller lasted a season-low 4 1-3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits with six walks and one strikeout.
''Shelby struggled for the first time the whole year,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ''He was battling his mechanics a little bit. His command was not like we have seen it before, but never the less we had a chance to win the ball game.''
The four runs and six walks were season worsts for the right-hander, who had not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his 10 starts leading into Tuesday.
''I didn't get in the groove-type thing, but those kind of days happen,'' Miller said. ''You are still human.''
Andrew Chafin (3-0) pitched 1 1-3 inning to get the victory. Brad Ziegler threw a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
Arizona starter Josh Collmenter left with two outs in the sixth inning and the Braves broke out.
Pierzynsky's two-run bases-loaded single off J.C. Ramirez cut the lead to 4-3, Jonny Gomes' RBI double tied it, then Cunningham's double down the left field line on the first pitch from Chafin put Atlanta up 6-4.
Miller walked Collmenter to load the bases in the second, then Inciarte singled in two. Miller walked Goldschmidt to bring in the third run.
''This game is not made for excuses and there is no reason to go out there and walk six batters,'' Miller said. ''There is no reason to go out there and walk the pitcher. It is just a tough day.''
Goldschmidt walked four times, twice intentionally. He has been walked 41 times this season, 17 in the last 13 games.
In the third, the left fielder Inciarte made a head-first dive in the gravel in foul territory and caught Jace Peterson's foul ball. Inciarte crashed face-first into a security guard's foot. He remained on the ground but held up his glove to show he still had the ball. After trainers came out, Inciarte eventually got to his feet and stayed in the game, making another nice running catch of Freeman's fly ball to end the inning.
Braves: Gonzalez gave OF Cameron Maybin another day off. Maybin was scratched from the lineup just before Monday night's game with a sore quad/groin. Gonzalez said he expected Maybin in the lineup for Wednesday's series finale.
Diamondbacks: LH Patrick Corbin (Tommy John surgery) threw 3 2-3 scoreless innings in an extended spring training game on Monday. ... 3B Jake Lamb (left foot stress fracture) was 1 for 4 with a triple in extended spring training game Monday. He is report Wednesday to a rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno.
Braves: Mike Foltynewicz (3-2, 3.96 ERA) takes the mound against Arizona Wednesday in the Braves' finale of a 10-game road trip. Atlanta is 4-5 on the trip.
Diamondbacks: RH Rubby De La Rosa (4-2, 4.50) goes for Arizona in the afternoon contest. He is 2-0 in his last five starts.