Sale wins MLB-leading 12th game, Duvall adds 3-run HR and the Braves beat the D-backs 6-2

PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Sale outdueled Zac Gallen with 5 1/3 solid innings, Adam Duvall hit a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight win.

Duvall connected for his three-run shot in the sixth, extending Atlanta’s lead to 5-0. The 441-foot homer was launched deep into the left field seats, ending Gallen’s night in frustration.

“We’re getting some timely hits,” Duvall said. “Tonight, we had runners on a lot. So we were defintely putting some pressure on and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

It was a good moment in a tough season for Duvall, who came into the game hitting just .184 with seven homers.

Sale (12-3) labored through his first inning, walking Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Gabriel Moreno to load the bases with two outs. But he coaxed a groundout from Jake McCarthy to end the threat.

The next four innings were considerably easier before the lefty ran into trouble in the sixth, giving up a single by Moreno before McCarthy’s RBI triple. Sale — who leads MLB with 12 wins — gave up two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out nine.

“Tonight was a grind,” Sale said. “Once I got out of that first inning I was like, all right, let’s take a deep breath, refocus and get back to it.”

The 35-year-old has bounced back from several injury-riddled seasons to be one of the best pitchers in the big leagues this year. He’ll represent the Braves on the NL All-Star team next week.

Sale is expected to pitch for Atlanta again on Sunday, which means he almost certainly won’t be available to pitch in the All-Star game two days later on July 16. Considering this is his eighth All-Star appearance, Sale said that wasn’t a problem.

“The most important thing is this team and winning games for this team,” Sale said. “We’ve got our eyes on the prize and that’s the most important thing.”

Gallen (6-5) gave up five runs, including four earned, over 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander gave up seven hits and a walk while striking out four.

“The gears were grinding the entire day,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I felt like Zac had really good stuff, but he got clipped for a couple runs and extended that pitch count.”

The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the second. Sean Murphy’s RBI groundout brought home Marcell Ozuna for the first run and then Atlanta took advantage of a defensive miscue when All-Star second baseman Ketel Marte dropped a line drive from Orlando Arcia that allowed Eddie Rosario to score.

Eli White had a pinch-hit, RBI triple in the seventh that gave Atlanta a 6-2 lead. Duvall, Ozuna and Jarred Kelenic all had two hits. Jesse Chavez threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.

“What Jesse did, coming in and doing multiple (innings) like that, that’s how we win.” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: Activated RHP AJ Smith-Shawver and optioned RHP Bryce Elder to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Diamondbacks: LHP Jordan Montgomery (knee), LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (oblique) and RHP Merrill Kelly (shoulder) all threw a bullpen on Tuesday. Manager Torey Lovullo said Montgomery is likely closest to returning to the active roster.

UP NEXT

The Braves will start RHP Charlie Morton (5-5, 3.96 ERA) on Wednesday. The D-backs will counter with RHP Slade Cecconi (2-6, 6.10 ERA).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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