Clark hits two homers to beat Sosa, Braves
ATLANTA (Ticker) --
's aura of invincibility.
Clark hit a pair of two-run homers and
belted a solo shot as the
roughed up Sosa in an 8-0 victory over the
allowed two hits in seven innings for the Diamondbacks, who notched their seventh shutout of the season and ended a slump that had seen them drop six of their previous nine games.
Clark hit two-run homers in the first and third innings, helping Arizona build a 5-0 lead. It was his first multi-homer game this season and 17th career.
Both blasts came off Sosa (7-2), a righthander who has been remarkable since joining the rotation in June. But he had very little command as he gave up five runs and six hits in five innings, striking out two.
"We knew we had our hands full with him (Sosa). He's been great," Clark said. "We knew if we could get a couple of runs early we would be in good shape the way Claudio's been throwing."
The runs matched the total Sosa had allowed in his last six starts, a span covering 33 1/3 innings.
Green connected for his 17th homer in the second, a solo shot. That was plenty for Vargas (6-6), who also has pitched well of late.
Vargas was in complete control, walking two and striking out five. The righthander improved to 3-2 with a 2.25 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break.
"After the second inning, everything worked well," Vargas said. "I threw all of my pitches in any count. I just tried to hit my spots."
"Somebody's done a terrific job with that kid (Vargas)," Braves manager
said. "He had a lot of pitches tonight (116), but they were quality. He had a purpose for every one of them."
Washington waived Vargas on June 3 and Arizona took a chance on him. He has lasted at least seven innings in five of his last seven appearances and has allowed six earned runs in his last 27 1/3 innings.
"In Washington, if I gave up one or two runs early, I was taken out of the game," Vargas said. "I've been working with Marc Davis, the pitching coach, and he does things the right way, helping me with my mechanics and mentally."
"He's a fixture right now," Diamondbacks manager
said. "I don't know where we'd be without him."
Vargas also had a two-run single in the sixth, the first RBI of his career.
"I tried to make contact and if you do that, a lot of things can happen," he said.
In the first,
doubled with one out and scored one batter later as Clark connected for his 20th homer.
In the third,
stroked a two-out single and Clark launched another blast to make it 5-0.
"Personally, it's indifferent," said Clark, who has hit safely in 39 of the 47 games he has started. "I'm going to sleep well as long as we shake hands (win) at the end of the night."
"It's a long time since we've been out of a game, just really knocked out," Cox said. "We'll bounce back (Saturday)."
went 0-for-3, snapping his career-high 15-game hitting streak. He went 28-for-66 during the streak.