Braves host doubleheader with Diamondbacks

MLB

The Arizona Diamondbacks will conclude their long 10-game road trip with a doubleheader in Atlanta on Sunday after heavy rains washed out Saturday night’s game.

The Diamondbacks are expected to use right-hander Zac Gallen (0-0, 3.72 ERA) in the first game and lefty Madison Bumgarner (1-2, 8.68) in the second game. Atlanta will counter with right-hander Bryse Wilson (1-0, 3.60) in the opener and left-hander Drew Smyly (0-0, 5.73) in the nightcap.

Both games of the doubleheader will be seven innings.

Bumgarner will make his 300th career start. He 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 and produced 10 quality starts. He will be making his first start in Atlanta since June 2, 2016. Bumgarner is 4-0 with a 0.32 ERA — one earned run over 28 innings — with 39 strikeouts in his past four starts against the Braves. He did not face Atlanta in 2020.

Bumgarner was sharp in his last 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.

Gallen did not factor in the decision in his second straight start on April 20 against the Reds, when he allowed three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. Last season he set a major league record by allowing three or fewer earned runs in each of his first 23 career games, all starts. He will be making his first career start against the Braves.

“We’ve got to keep fighting. We’ve got to keep doing what we do best,” said Arizona manager Torey Lovullo, whose team has won four of its past five. “Those are the things I’m watching this team do every night with a bend-don’t-break mentality.”

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.

Wilson won his only start of the season on April 18 against the Chicago Cubs. He pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs. It will be his first appearance against Arizona.

Atlanta’s offense is beginning to round into shape, particularly the bottom of the order where No. 7 hitter Austin Riley has reached safely in 14 of 22 plate appearances, batting .462 (6-for-13), over the last six games. He has raised his season average to .255.

“We’re kind of looking for life at the top of the order, middle of the order and bottom of the order,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “I feel our best offensive baseball is yet to come, but we’re hanging in there and grinding through it and making do. Eventually we’re going to be hitting on all cylinders.”

The Braves activated outfielder Cristian Pache from the injured list (left groin strain) and optioned him to the alternate training site in Gwinnett, Ga. There is no timetable for Pache to return to the Braves and he likely will be with Gwinnett when the Triple-A season starts on May 4.

–Field Level Media

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