Simmons shrugs off early errors with four RBIs in Braves' win

Simmons shrugs off early errors with four RBIs in Braves' win

July 6th, 2014 by Associated Press in Sports - Professional

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 /Times Free Press.

ATLANTA - Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons wasted no time recovering from a rare two-error inning.

"It's tough when your errors are a little costly, but [pitcher Aaron] Harang picked me up and kept us in the game," Simmons said after Atlanta's 10-4 win Saturday over the Arizona Diamondbacks. "The other guys got on base and we ended up winning, so it's a good day after all."

Simmons drove in four runs and Harang won his third straight start in the Braves' 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 games and are 11 games over .500 for the first time this season.

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

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

Simmons had an RBI single in the first inning 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 he had four RBIs in a game.

Simmons has four straight games with at least two hits.

The Diamondbacks went ahead 3-0 in the first inning on Paul Goldschmidt's RBI double and RBI singles by Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra. 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.

"We had a rough first inning there, but nobody panicked," Harang said. "Our confidence is real high right now, and everybody's feeling good about how we're swinging the bats and playing defense. We knew guys were comfortable up there and knew that we'd stay right in it."

Simmons, named last year's Platinum Glove winner as the NL's best defender, had two errors in the first. He has eight errors this season.

"I told him that how you bounce back from those is what's important," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He made some great plays defensively after that inning and also swung the bat. He kept the line moving."

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 base 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 his 17th homer of the season, a two-run shot off Matt Stites, to make it 9-4 in the sixth.

The Diamondbacks, plagued by injuries all season, are reeling.

"When we were at our place [last month], we played these guys really good," Gibson said. "We're capable of doing that."

The last time Atlanta won nine games in a row was during a 12-game streak that ended last Aug. 9. B.J. Upton has a career-best 11-game hitting streak.

Goldschmidt went 1-for-4 and has reached safely in 26 straight games, with nine doubles, four homers, 12 RBIs and 28 walks during that span. Heyward leaped to catch his fly ball at the top of the right-field wall in the eighth.