After calling Chase Field home for his first six major league seasons, Justin Upton is set to play his first game there as a visitor Monday night.
The No. 1 overall pick by the Diamondbacks in 2005, Upton drove in 67 runs in 150 games in 2012 while slugging .430 - his lowest since his rookie season. After reports swirled for much of the year that he was being shopped to other teams, he was finally dealt to Atlanta in January in exchange for Martin Prado and prospects.
Upton's first season with the Braves has been a vast improvement from his tumultuous final campaign with Arizona, as he's slugging .608 with a major-league leading 12 homers despite not hitting one since April 27.
"Being traded is a part of the game and you take it in stride," Upton told the Diamondbacks' official website. "I've turned the page. I'm part of a new organization and it's still the same game on the field. I'm looking to the future and I'm enjoying things."
Atlanta (21-16) tallied four runs and 14 hits while dropping the last three of a four-game series at San Francisco.
"We haven't been real fun to watch right now," said manager Fredi Gonzalez, who rejoined the Braves Sunday after missing two days to attend his daughter's college graduation.
The Diamondbacks (21-17) have lost two in a row and have posted just 11 runs over the last five games while going 2 for 32 with runners in scoring position, though they still managed to win the first three in that stretch.
Maybe a recharged Paul Goldschmidt will help Arizona's offense get on track as he didn't start Sunday for the first time this season. Goldschmidt, who leads the Diamondbacks with nine homers and 30 RBIs, did strike out as a pinch-hitter, while Eric Hinske was 0 for 3 filling in at first base.
"He's got to be a little tired, he was ready for a day off, definitely," manager Kirk Gibson told the team's official website. "He's pretty important to our team. It's hard to do it, but at the same time you have to at some point."
Two left-handers will be on the mound with Mike Minor (4-2, 2.96 ERA) starting for Atlanta against Arizona's Wade Miley (3-1, 2.93 ERA). Both are coming off good showings, with Minor holding the Reds to one run and four hits over seven innings Wednesday while Miley gave up two runs in 7 2-3 innings as the Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 3-2.
Unlike Upton, Prado's first season with his new team has been a struggle. He's batting a career-worst .230 and was hitless Sunday for the fourth time in six contests.
Freddie Freeman is 20 for 45 (.444) with three homers, six doubles and 13 RBIs in 12 games against the Diamondbacks, with one of those home runs coming in three at-bats against Miley.
The Braves have won eight of the last 10 meetings, including three of four in Arizona last season.
|May 05, 2013||Juan Francisco||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
|April 25, 2013||Luis Ayala||15-Day DL||Anxiety disorder|
|April 23, 2013||Jason Heyward||Day-to-Day||Appendectomy|
|April 21, 2013||Jason Heyward||15-Day DL||Appendectomy|
|April 20, 2013||Dan Uggla||Day-to-Day||Left game - left calf strain|
|April 20, 2013||Blake DeWitt||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|May 08, 2013||J.J. Putz||15-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|April 27, 2013||Didi Gregorius||7-Day DL||Mild concussion|
|April 27, 2013||Didi Gregorius||7-Day DL||Mild concussion|
|April 15, 2013||Aaron Hill||15-Day DL||Broken left hand|
|April 14, 2013||Aaron Hill||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left hand|
|April 13, 2013||Jason Kubel||15-Day DL||Strained left quad|
PHOENIX (AP) -- Justin Upton put on quite a show in his return to Phoenix.
Upton snapped a 14-game homerless drought and had four hits to help the Braves snap a three-game losing streak.
"It was the Justin show," Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said with a smile.
Upton, the first overall pick by Arizona in the 2005 amateur draft, was playing his first game at Chase Field since the offseason trade that sent him and Johnson to Atlanta in a seven-player deal.
Upton received a mixed reaction throughout the night, with the cheers barely outweighing the boos when he stepped in or took the field for the first time.
"It was mixed and that was what I expected," Upton said. "It is what it is. I tried to have fun with it. This time the fans were yelling at me instead of cheering me, but it was good."
Upton followed his brother B.J., who was hit on the left shoulder by Wade Miley (3-2) to lead off the sixth, and powered a changeup onto the porch above the center field fence for his 13th home run and first since April 27 at Detroit. Despite the drought, he still leads the majors in homers.
Johnson hit a two-run homer to cap Atlanta's three-run fifth and Brian McCann also homered for the Braves.
"It usually works out like this," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "When guys are traded, they have a good night."
Mike Minor (5-2) allowed one run on eight hits over 6 2-3 innings.
"It wasn't really about me," Minor said. "It was about everybody else because I didn't have my best stuff tonight."
Paul Goldschmidt hit his 10th home run for the Diamondbacks, who have lost three straight.
Miley started strong but faded in the fifth and never recorded an out in the sixth.
After Justin Upton 's home run made it 5-1, Freddie Freeman doubled, Evan Gattis walked and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. McCann singled to right, scoring Freeman to make it 6-1. Johnson added a one-out double to left off reliever Josh Collmenter , driving in Gattis for a 7-1 lead.
"We've been scuffling to score some runs on this road trip so to go and score some runs feels nice," Upton said.
Miley allowed seven runs on six hits over five innings. He walked two, hit a batter, struck out one and threw two wild pitches. Miley threw only 47 pitches in the first four innings but another 39 to the final 11 batters he faced.
"I was sort of messing up," Miley said. "Early in the game I was hitting spots and pitching down in the zone but then, just like that, I couldn't get it down anymore. I left pitches up and they capitalized."
The seven runs allowed were the second-most of Miley's career.
"He didn't make the pitches he needed to make," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson . "This team, you don't want to give them anything because you know they are going to hit a home run. That is what they do well. We put guys on and they hit home runs."
Goldschmidt gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the first with a home run deep into the left-field bleachers.
Arizona had other scoring chances against Minor, but Prado was thrown out at the plate in the fourth by B.J. Upton on a Gerardo Parra single and Cody Ross was tagged out at home in the sixth on a double to left by Prado.
Diamondbacks Didi Gregorius ended the bottom of the fifth when he was caught attempting to steal second base.
NOTES: Atlanta is 4-1 in its last five games at Chase Field. . B.J. Upton was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh with a left shoulder contusion and is day-to-day. ... Braves 2B Dan Uggla doubled in the eighth to end an 0-for-14 streak. ... Justin Upton has his 68 of his 121 career home runs at Chase Field. ... According to MLB.com, entering the game Miley had held hitters to a .178 batting average on his first 45 pitches but batters had hit .353 from his 46th pitch on. ... Goldschmidt is the ninth Diamondbacks player to hit 10 home runs in less than 40 games and the first since Kelly Johnson (11 homers) and Mark Reynolds (10) each did so in 2010. ... Johnson snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a single in the third, the Braves' first hit. ... Atlanta OF Jason Heyward went 1 for 2 with an RBI double in the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves' 3-2 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday. Heyward was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 23 after an appendectomy April 22.