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Freeman homers as Braves complete sweep of Diamondbacks

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The Canadian Press
6/30/2013 6:33:34 PM
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ATLANTA -- Arizona manager Kirk Gibson was glad to leave town after a lost weekend at Turner Field.

"They outpitched us, they outhit us and they just outplayed us," Gibson said. "They'd been struggling, but they turned it around. They've played well at home."

Trevor Cahill gave up home runs to Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla and Brian McCann, and the Diamondbacks lost 6-2 Sunday as the Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep.

Cahill (3-10) allowed six runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings as the NL West-leading Diamondbacks lost for the fifth time in six games.

Cahill is 0-6 with a 7.91 ERA in eight starts since a May 17 win at Miami, but he's received only nine runs of support in his last eight games.

The Diamondbacks went 3 for 21 with runners in scoring position over the weekend.

Cahill's rough outing marked the 22nd straight game without a win from the Diamondbacks' rotation -- the longest streak in the majors since San Diego went 25 in a row from April 17-May 14, 2009, according to STATS.

"I don't know what to say," Cahill said. "It's embarrassing. We're a team that's in first place, and I want to do my part to contribute. It's just not working out."

Paul Maholm (9-6) gave up two runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings for the Braves, who lead the NL East by 6 1/2 games and improved to a big league-best 28-11 at home.

The first of Paul Goldschmidt's two run-scoring, double-play grounders put Arizona ahead in the first, but McCann tied the score in the second with an opposite-field homer that bounced off the top of the wall in left-centre.

Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez was grateful to get through the weekend without any damage from Goldschmidt, who leads the NL with 67 RBIs but went 1 for 9 and stranded four runners in the series.

"We did a nice job of minimizing the damage, pitching around him a little bit and getting him out," Gonzalez said. "He's a hell of a player and having a great year, so we did a nice job of handling him."

Freeman's three-run homer made it 4-1 in the third, and Uggla added a two-run drive in the fifth, his 14th home run of the season, for a 6-1 lead.

Maholm laboured in the seventh, giving up consecutive singles to Cody Ross and Gerardo Parra and a one-out walk to Cliff Pennington. Maholm struck out pinch-hitter Jason Kubel, and Anthony Varvaro relieved and retired A.J. Pollock on a flyout.

Kubel began the game with a .417 average in 12 career at-bats against Maholm.

"He's done well against me, and it's probably my last hitter," Maholm said. "I just tried to mix it up and dropped my arm angle on two of the pitches, but it's left-on-left and I have all the confidence in getting a guy out."

Gibson didn't have immediate answers for why his club is struggling on a trip that continues Monday with the opener of a four-game series at the New York Mets.

"It's no one individual," Gibson said. "It's me, it's the coaching staff, the players. We're just not clicking very good right now. We've got to find a way to get it turned around. It's no fun. I'm sure it's not fun to watch, either. We're not going to panic either way. We're going to come in and try to be loose."

NOTES: Cahill had not allowed three homers since Oakland's 10-2 loss at Toronto on April 30, 2010. ... Maholm beat the Diamondbacks in his second straight start after going 0-3 in his first six career starts against them. ... The Braves improved to 9-1-4 in home series. ... Diamondbacks RHP Tony Hill pitched a scoreless seventh and has not allowed a run in 11 straight road appearances. ... Atlanta is 34-6 when outhitting opponents. ... RHP David Carpenter pitched the last two innings for the Braves. ... Freeman homered in consecutive games for the second time this season and first since May 30-31 against Toronto and Washington. ... LHP Tony Sipp pitched the eighth for Arizona.

Freddie Freeman (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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