PHOENIX (AP)—The Arizona Diamondbacks scored their only runs with the help of an infield double.
The way Patrick Corbin pitched Tuesday night, that was all they needed.
Corbin allowed three hits in seven innings and joined Randy Johnson as the only left-handers in team history to win their first six starts, lifting the Diamondbacks to a 2-0 win over the Atlanta Braves.
“That guy is tough,” Braves catcher Gerald Laird said. “It seems like he is effectively wild.”
Corbin (6-0) was certainly wild at times, walking five and going into deep counts on seemingly every batter. He managed to miss in the right spots, though, and induced three double plays while striking out five in his career-best sixth straight win.
The young left-hander also helped keep Braves slugger Justin Upton in check after his impressive performance the night before and became the first Diamondbacks pitcher to start 6-0 since Brandon Webb won nine straight decisions in 2008.
Johnson won his first six starts in 2001 and went 7-0 in 2000, putting Corbin in the same company as a five-time Cy Young Award winner.
“I feel good and I just want to keep it going,” Corbin said. “Anytime I can go out there and pitch like this is awesome.”
Julio Teheran (2-1) matched Corbin most of the way, but crossed signals with first baseman Freddie Freeman on Gerardo Parra’s infield double in the third inning. Didi Gregorius who made some stellar plays at shortstop behind Corbin, followed with a two-run single.
That turned about to be enough against the Braves, who had four hits—two by Reed Johnson—and went 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position to lose for the fourth time in five games.
Atlanta was shut out by Arizona for the first time since May 16, 2009, and the first time at Chase Field since May 20, 2006.
“I thought our hitters, it was a great plan of attack against them, and hit some balls hard,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “That is all you can do, really. We had people on base almost every inning. (Corbin) wiggled out of there in the seventh inning with some people on base. That’s the nature of the game sometimes.”
Corbin has been Arizona’s best pitcher early this season, setting a club record by allowing two runs or fewer and lasting at least six innings in his first eight starts.
He struggled with his control a bit against the Braves, walking four—Upton twice—in the first four innings. He worked around the extra baserunners, though, erasing two of them with double plays
A walk in the sixth also went nowhere when first baseman Paul Goldschmidt snared Freeman’s liner and stepped on the bag for another double play. Corbin also got some help from Gregorius, who made a tough play in the hole to throw out Laird by a step in the fifth.
Corbin also helped contain Upton, who made a statement in the series opener.
Back at Chase Field for the first time since being traded to the Braves this past offseason, he hit a towering, two-run homer and had four hits against the team that selected him No. 1 overall in the 2005 amateur draft.
The two-time All-Star in six seasons with the Diamondbacks wasn’t as good in his encore, striking out with a runner on in the eighth and finishing 0 for 2.
“What he did with Justin tonight was keep it out of spots where he could hurt him,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said about Corbin.
Teheran’s otherwise-impressive start against the Diamondbacks was derailed, by all things, by an infield double.
The play happened when Parra hit a chopper to the right side in the third inning. Teheran chased after the ball and so did Freeman before both pulled back at the last second. The ball rolled past second baseman Dan Uggla who was racing to cover first, and Parra ended up at second.
Gregorius followed with a two-run single to center.
Teheran allowed two more hits after that and was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh. He allowed two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and was hurt most by a double that barely left the infield.
“It was my good stuff today,” said Teheran, who took his first loss since his major league debut on May 5, 2011, at Philadelphia. “I made good pitches, was getting ahead in counts. It was just one bad play. A difficult play.”
Turned out to be just enough for the Diamondbacks and Corbin.
NOTES: Atlanta CF B.J. Upton didn’t play after being hit on the shoulder by a pitch the night before. … Arizona has scored three runs or fewer in seven straight games. … Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a bloop single in the eighth. .. Atlanta RHP Tim Hudson will try to bounce back from a shaky outing in the series finale. He allowed six runs on seven hits in the fourth inning against the Giants, but is 4-0 with a 0.94 ERA in five career starts in Arizona. … RHP Ian Kennedy will start for Arizona after a solid previous start. He allowed two runs in the first inning against the Phillies, but settled down and didn’t allow a run over the next six innings. Kennedy has not won since opening day.