PHOENIX -- Starved for run support much of the season, Atlanta's Jair Jurrjens almost didn't know what to do when Yunel Escobar's three-run homer gave him a nine-run lead.
Jurrjens struggled through five innings, then turned the game over to the bullpen as the Braves hung on for a 10-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, snapping a four-game losing streak."I was so close to blowing up," said Jurrjens (5-2), who helped his cause with a two-run double. "Baseball is so funny. You ask for runs, they give you a lot of runs, then you give back a lot of runs."In one stretch of six starts this year, the Braves scored a total of nine runs while Jurrjens was in the game.They topped that in four innings, hammering Arizona's Jon Garland (4-4). Escobar's shot off Garland capped a five-run third inning and gave the Braves and Jurrjens what looked like a comfortable 9-1 lead.After the Braves added another run in the fourth, Arizona pulled to 10-5 two innings later when Ryan Roberts led off with a double and scored on Gerardo Parra's single. Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was so concerned that he had a reliever warming up.Jurrjens responded by striking out hot-hitting Justin Upton and retiring Stephen Drew and Mark Reynolds to end the inning, and his outing."I was like, if I give up more hits, there's a chance I'm going to lose my win," Jurrjens said. "Pitching with a big lead like that's really difficult. I think I prefer to pitch when the game is closer."Jurrjens allowed a season-high five runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out five. He entered with a 2.07 ERA, third in the NL, and left with a 2.59 ERA."He had probably his worst game of the year," Cox said. "But he got it all together in the fifth inning. He really sucked it up. He deserved that win."Five Atlanta relievers limited the Diamondbacks to one run the rest of the way.Chad Tracy had three hits, including a homer, and drove in four runs for the Diamondbacks, who fell to 3-8 at home under new manager A.J. Hinch."Certainly our guys bounced back and tried to make a game of it," Hinch said. "But all in all, just kind of got beat up tonight."Eight Braves had hits before Arizona's pitcher batted in the third -- and by then it was reliever Leo Rosales.Atlanta scored four in the second inning, with Jurrjens doubling in two runs, Jeff Francoeur singling in a run and another run scoring on a throwing error by Parra in left field.The Braves made it 9-0 in the third on Kelly Johnson's two-run single, and Escobar's three-run homer on the last of 78 pitches thrown by Garland. Escobar returned to the lineup after missing six games because of a strained right hip flexor.Garland gave up nine runs, eight earned, and nine hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings. He has allowed at least seven earned runs four times in 12 starts dating to last season."It's flat-out terrible," Garland said.Garland has allowed 19 earned runs and 29 hits in his last three starts at Chase Field.Maybe it's the roof's fault.On Friday night, the roof was open on a 99-degree night in the desert. The ballpark is said to be friendlier to pitchers when the roof is closed."I still vote to have it closed, and they won't close it for me," Garland said with a grin. "But what do you do? Get back up there in five days and give the boys a chance."
The Diamondbacks-Braves game rained out May 17 game has been rescheduled for Aug. 17 in Atlanta. For Arizona, the game will be at the front end of a scheduled nine-game trip to Philadelphia, Houston and San Francisco. ... Arizona LHP Daniel Schlereth pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning as he made his major league debut less than a year after the club drafted him in the first round. ... Arizona 2B Felipe Lopez, bothered by a hamstring injury, was out of the starting lineup for the sixth straight game but bounced out as a pinch hitter.