ATLANTA -- Max Scherzer may remember the best throw in his first major league win as one he made to first base.
Scherzer used momentum from a first-inning pickoff play to pitch six scoreless innings and Chris Snyder hit a grand slam in the ninth, capping the Arizona Diamondbacks' 12-0 rout of the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.Snyder matched his career high with five RBIs, including the grand slam off Buddy Carlyle in a six-run ninth. Rookie Gerardo Parra drove in three runs with three hits as Arizona ended a four-game losing streak.Scherzer (1-3) gave up four hits and three walks with four strikeouts. His first win came in his 14th start."Finally," said Scherzer, who was collecting souvenirs after the game -- including a game ball and the lineup sheet.Scherzer said the turning point was a simple throw to first base in the first inning.The Braves had runners on first and third with one out after singles by Yunel Escobar and Chipper Jones.Scherzer's throw to first caught Jones breaking to second. Shortstop Stephen Drew tagged Jones to end a brief rundown, and Drew threw to third where Mark Reynolds put the tag on Escobar trying to dive back to the bag.Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said he called for the throw to first after seeing Jones breaking for second on a foul ball on the previous pitch to Garret Anderson."We knew he was going to start the runner again," Hinch said of Braves manager Bobby Cox."It works every once in a while," Scherzer said. "That was what we needed to create momentum and sure enough the next inning we scored two runs."Scherzer lost his first seven decisions over two seasons. He entered the game with no wins despite a strong 3.39 ERA in 22 career games.Snyder said Scherzer can build off the first win."Scherzer got the win. He can check that off the list," Snyder said. "Now it's time for him to start rolling, and as a team, the same. It's a big win. We scored a lot of runs. That's what we need. We need some momentum. We need some confidence."Braves relievers walked eight batters in four innings. Jeff Bennett and Carlyle forced in runs with bases-loaded walks in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively."That turned into a nightmare," Cox said."We just got out of the strike zone way too much and couldn't do much offensively."Kenshin Kawakami (2-5) gave up five hits and three runs in five innings. He retired the last eight batters he faced before he was removed for a pinch hitter."With runners in scoring position, I was rushing my delivery," Kawakami said through an interpreter. "Staying back was the key."Four of Arizona's five hits off Kawakami were extra-base hits, including back-to-back doubles by Reynolds and Eric Byrnes that gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the second. Byrnes scored later in the inning on Snyder's sacrifice fly.Felipe Lopez hit a third-inning double and scored on Parra's single to center.Kawakami has lost five of his last six starts and has not lasted more than six innings in any of his seven starts."He struggled the first two innings, then he got better," Cox said.Atlanta reliever James Parr walked Chad Tracy and Snyder to start the seventh, setting up a two-run triple by Parra.The control problems continued in the eighth, when Bennett walked four batters, including a bases-loaded pass to pinch-hitter Miguel Montero to force in a run.Carlyle added two walks in the ninth. Byrnes had a run-scoring single before Snyder's grand slam over the center-field wall.
Hinch said RHP Brandon Webb, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder since his opening day start, "did great" while throwing in the batting cage before the game. ... Braves LHP Tom Glavine will throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday as he continues his recovery from a sore left shoulder. ... RHP Jorge Campillo (right rotator cuff tendinitis) gave up one hit in two scoreless innings in a minor league rehab start for Double-A Mississippi against Montgomery.