By JOSE M. ROMERO, Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) — Ketel Marte is still trying to find his hitting stroke since being called up from the minors in late June. He isn’t a regular player and admitted he wished he was doing better than his .220 average.
On Wednesday, however, Marte showed bat and speed prowess with a rare inside-the-park home run, helping the Diamondbacks beat the Atlanta Braves 10-3.
“It’s fun for the fans. Everyone knows I run well,” Marte said in Spanish. “I never looked at the ball when it left the bat. I just ran hard and when I got to second base,
I looked at the (third-base) coach and he sent me, so I just ran faster.”
The Diamondbacks put on an offensive show, as J.D. Martinez homered twice, his second and third home runs in the past three days and two of his first three as a Diamondback.
It was Martinez’s third multi-home run game of the season, the first two as a Detroit Tiger.
Marte ripped a high drive off the right field corner fence with one out in the bottom of the third inning, and the ball ricocheted and rolled back toward the infield with Braves outfielder Sean Rodriguez unable to gather it in. Marte circled the bases and crossed home plate standing with his arms outstretched.
“It’s one of those moments where you do something that you don’t see very often, and you laugh about it, you joke about it,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “Then when you realize we scored two runs and we stretched the lead out, you realize the importance of it.”
Daniel Descalso tripled in two runs earlier in the inning, backing starting pitcher Patrick Corbin (8-9).
Corbin wasn’t always sharp, but got through six innings with two runs allowed and seven hits. He struck out five and walked four to go with a hit batter and wild pitch.
“Worked a little but harder than I wanted to,” Corbin said. “Just kind of lost it a little bit, but then was able to lock it back in and minimize damage and work out of jams.”
Braves right-hander Aaron Blair was done after three innings. Blair (0-1) allowed five runs and five hits with five walks and three strikeouts after being called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to make the start.
“I couldn’t really locate the fastball when I needed to,” Blair said. “I had the slider and curveball for strikes when I needed it. I just fell behind and when I needed to make a pitch it just wasn’t there … Five free passes in three innings is not going to help you at all.”
Matt Kemp’s groundout drove in Brandon Phillips with the game’s first run in the top of the first, but the Diamondbacks responded in the bottom of the inning after two stolen bases by Gregor Blanco.
Blanco raced home on Jake Lamb’s sacrifice fly to tie the score.
Descalso drove in Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt, who both walked to start the bottom of the third. Then came Marte’s third home run of the season.
Martinez launched his first home run with two outs in the fourth off Braves reliever Luke Jackson. It drove in Goldschmidt, who doubled twice and scored three runs.
Martinez later took Ian Krol deep in the eighth with Goldschmidt aboard.
“He continues to grow and learn about National League pitching,” Lovullo said of Martinez.
Phillips’ sacrifice fly in the fourth accounted for Atlanta’s second run, and Nick Markakis singled in Dansby Swanson in the eighth. Brandon Drury’s pinch-hit single scored Marte in the seventh.
Swanson ended a career high 0-for-19 hitless streak with his two hits.
Arizona improved to 27-0 when scoring seven or more runs and scored 10 or more for the 15th time this season.
DANCING OFF SECOND
After Blanco stole second base in the first inning, he playfully hopped on and off the bag while Braves second baseman Phillips was bent over with the ball in his glove. Phillips, playing along, then faked a tag.
Moments later, Blanco avoided the tag of third baseman Johan Camargo and got another steal, even though the Braves appeared to have Blanco picked off second. Blanco was originally called out, but the Diamondbacks challenged the call and replays showed Camargo missed the tag as Blanco ran by him.
SUNS IN THE HOUSE
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and power forward Alan Williams, whom the team announced signed a multi-year contract earlier in the day, attended Wednesday’s game.
Diamondbacks: P Rubby De La Rosa was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list and pitched the ninth inning. Reliever J.J. Hoover was optioned to Triple-A Reno after Tuesday night’s game.
Braves: After a day off Thursday, the Braves open a four-game series at Philadelphia with RHP Julio Teheran (7-8) pitching the opener.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Godley (3-4) is coming off a career-high 10-strikeout performance in his last start. He gets the call in a series opener at the St. Louis Cardinals.