published Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Simmons, Harang spark Braves to 9th straight win

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Aaron Harang works in the sixth inning of his game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Atlanta, Saturday, July 5, 2014.
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Aaron Harang works in the sixth inning of his game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Atlanta, Saturday, July 5, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATLANTA — Andrelton Simmons drove in four runs, Aaron Harang won his third straight start and the Atlanta Braves beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-4 Saturday for their season-high ninth straight victory.

Justin Upton added a two-run homer and a third RBI for the Braves, who have won 11 of 12 and are 11 games over .500 for the first time this season.

Harang (8-6) has a 3.00 ERA over his last three starts after allowing nine hits and four runs with one walk and one strikeout in eight innings.

Arizona, which has dropped eight of 12, lost its 53rd game, most in the majors.

Simmons had an RBI single in the first and a two-run double in the fourth. He appeared to turn his left ankle while running the bases in the sixth but stayed in the game. He drove in his fourth run with a groundout in the seventh to make it 10-4. It marked the third time in his career and second time this season that the Atlanta shortstop has had four RBIs in a game.

The Diamondbacks went ahead 3-0 in the first on Goldschmidt's RBI double, Montero's RBI single and Gerardo Parra's RBI single. Parra got an at-bat after manager Kirk Gibson successfully challenged that Aaron Hill, the previous batter, was safe at first on Atlanta's double-play attempt.

After Simmons cut the lead to 3-1 in the first, the Braves made it 3-2 in the third on Jason Heyward's RBI single.

Atlanta took a 7-3 lead with a five-run fourth off Mike Bolsinger (1-5).

Tommy La Stella scored from third when B.J. Upton reached on Didi Gregorius' throwing error. Simmons' two-run double was followed by Freddie Freeman's RBI triple and Upton's sacrifice fly.

Bolsinger, who had a 2.70 ERA in his previous three starts, gave up 10 hits, seven runs — five earned — and walked two in 3 2-3 innings. He struck out five.

Ender Inciarte homered in the fifth to cut the lead to 7-4, but Upton hit 17th homer, a two-run, shot off Matt Stites to make it 9-4 in the sixth.

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