The Arizona Diamondbacks are hoping a prized pitching prospect will help them end their struggles in Atlanta.
A year after being selected third overall in the amateur draft, Trevor Bauer makes his major league debut Thursday night trying to help the Diamondbacks avoid a series sweep and a seventh consecutive road loss to the Braves.
With Daniel Hudson (elbow) and Joe Saunders (shoulder) recently placed on the disabled list, the 21-year-old Bauer will be called up from Triple-A Reno, where he went 4-0 with a 2.82 ERA in eight starts. Between Double- and Triple-A, the right-hander is 11-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 16 starts this season.
"I think we feel that Trevor has progressed, and it's getting time for him to find out how he does against a little better competition," manager Kirk Gibson told the Diamondbacks' official website. "It has to start sometime, and we've decided this is it."
Bauer will be thrown into the fire right away, facing an Atlanta club that holds a 40-9 scoring advantage during a six-game home winning streak against the Diamondbacks (37-37).
"He's excited, we're excited to have him, let's be honest," Gibson said. "It's a great challenge for Trevor, and he's up to it."
The Braves (40-34) have scored 14 runs through the first two games of this set and have totaled 40 while winning five of six overall against Arizona this season. Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones each homered as Atlanta won 6-4 on Wednesday, its fifth victory in seven games.
Heyward is batting .455 with four home runs during a career-high 12-game hitting streak. Jones, who homered for the first time since May 4, is 4 for 7 in the series.
"I've finally got my swing right," Jones said. "I'm feeling good. I've got some confidence."
Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 6.75) will make his second start since being recalled from the minors in the finale for the Braves.
The right-hander went 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in his first four outings this season for Atlanta before being demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett on April 24. After going 3-4 with a 5.18 ERA in 10 minor league starts, Jurrjens made the most of his call-up by allowing one run and three hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-1 win at Boston on Friday."I was lacking strength and going down there helped me get back to correcting my delivery and getting strength in my leg again," said Jurrjens, who went 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA during an All-Star 2011 season.
He is 2-1 with a 5.24 ERA in four career starts versus Arizona.
Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew is 5 for 13 with two doubles and a triple lifetime off Jurrjens. Drew went 1 for 4 on Wednesday in his first game since breaking his ankle last July 20.
Hill is batting .471 (16 for 34) in his last eight games.
|June 26, 2012||Daniel Hudson||15-Day DL||Right foream tightness|
|June 17, 2012||Joe Saunders||15-Day DL||Strained left shoulder|
|May 23, 2012||Miguel Montero||Day-to-Day||Groin injury|
|April 19, 2012||Daniel Hudson||15-Day DL||Right shoulder impingement|
|April 19, 2012||Daniel Hudson||15-Day DL||Right shoulder impingement|
|April 18, 2012||Chris Young||15-Day DL||Right shoulder contusion|
|June 17, 2012||Brandon Beachy||15-Day DL||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|June 16, 2012||Brandon Beachy||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right elbow soreness|
|June 13, 2012||Freddie Freeman||Day-to-Day||Left thumb discomfort|
|June 12, 2012||Eric O'Flaherty||Day-to-Day||Left elbow soreness|
|June 09, 2012||Tim Hudson||Day-to-Day||Bone spurs in left ankle|
|June 02, 2012||Brian McCann||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left knee|
ATLANTA (AP) -- Trevor Bauer strained his groin in his major league debut and had to leave after pitching the first four innings.
Other than Bauer's setback, nearly everything else went well for the Arizona Diamondbacks .
"I had my good stuff for the first two innings," Bauer said. "I was locating the ball well, and my breaking ball had a good bite to it, but when the third inning came along, my control went everywhere. It was like a tale of two pitchers."
Fortunately for Bauer, Chris Young hit a tiebreaking homer against Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning, lifting Arizona to a 3-2 victory over the Braves on Thursday night.
Jason Kubel had a two-run double in the sixth to tie the score for the Diamondbacks.
Bauer, the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2011, did not receive a decision. He was called up from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day.
He estimates the groin injury affected about half of his 16 starts this year in the minor leagues, where he combined to go 11-1 with a 2.23 ERA at Reno and Double-A Mobile.
"I felt it my second outing in Reno (May 23) and haven't felt it since," Bauer said. "I'm not exactly sure why. We'll get it fixed, and hopefully I'll be ready to go again in five days."
David Hernandez (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, allowing no hits, walking two and striking out the side.
J.J. Putz earned his 14th save in 17 chances, retiring Michael Bourn on a groundout, striking out Jason Heyward and getting Martin Prado to ground out.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin , making his majors debut as a reliever, held the Braves scoreless in the fifth, sixth and seventh and retired the last eight batters he faced.
The Diamondbacks have won five of seven and 15 of 23. They snapped a season-high four-game losing streak on the road.
During its last six games overall, Arizona's bullpen is 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA.
"Lights out again tonight for our relievers," Kubel said. "Corbin picked us up big. It was just a good all-around team effort. The bullpen really stepped up."
Kimbrel (0-1) allowed just one hit - the first homer he's allowed this season - and struck out one.
The Braves, who have lost three of five, left 21 runners on base.
"I was impressed with their pitching overall," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Their starting pitching and also their bullpen. I think that's one of the best staffs we've seen one through 12."
Brian McCann had an RBI double in the third inning, and Bourn made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Young homered for the second straight night, but was batting .151 in his previous 106 at-bats and had been dropped to eighth in the batting order. Arizona has homered in nine straight games for the first time since July 20-Aug. 1, 2010.
Young was excited to beat Kimbrel, who snapped a 17-game scoreless streak that dated to May 8 at Chicago.
"He's one of the best in the game - there's no secret to that," Young said. "His fastball is electric. He had his breaking ball working good tonight. I was able to battle, battle, and he threw me a couple of good pitches. I was able to foul them off, and he left me one to hit."
Bauer allowed five hits, two runs, three walks and struck out three in four innings. The 21-year-old right-hander, who left for a pinch-hitter in the fifth, threw 42 of his 74 pitches for strikes.
Braves starter Jair Jurrjens couldn't hold a 2-0 lead in the sixth and left with runners on first and third and two out.
Kubel, who began the night leading the NL with 24 RBIs in June, made it 2-2 in the sixth with a double that scored Willie Bloomquist from second and Justin Upton from first.
A wild pitch walk to Miguel Montero moved Kubel to third and chased Jurrjens, who allowed six hits, two runs and three walks with no strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings.
Bauer, a former UCLA star who won the Golden Spikes Award in 2011 as the nation's top college player, had an adventurous third.
The rookie made 30 pitches in the inning, walking three and hitting a batter before escaping with a 1-0 deficit after Freddie Freeman flied out with the bases loaded.
Pitching coach Charles Nagy visited the mound twice in the third. Nagy and an athletic trainer spoke with Bauer after he threw a ball in the dirt to walk Bourn, the first batter.
Bauer convinced them he was fine and forced Heyward to ground into a double play.
After walking Martin Prado on five pitches, Bauer gave up McCann's double off the right-field wall, scoring Prado from first to make it 1-0.
But Bauer continued to labor, walking Jones and hitting Dan Uggla to load the bases before retiring Freeman.
He estimates the groin injury took 3 mph off his fastball and altered his mechanics.
"When I can't rotate my hips, my release point is like a foot farther back, so I don't get extension," Bauer said. "My breaking balls get flat. My fastballs are up in the zone and everywhere else. It really affects the command and sharpness of my pitches."
NOTES: Uggla, Freeman and Simmons combined to leave 13 runners on base. ... Heyward went 0 for 5 to snap a 12-game hitting streak, but he ended the Arizona second by catching Aaron Hill 's fly ball in right field and throwing out Kubel on McCann's tag at the plate. ... Arizona optioned INF Josh Bell to Reno to make room for Bauer on the 25-man roster. ... Montero walked twice and has reached base safely in his last 17 games.