PHOENIX (AP) — The way things have been going for the Arizona Diamondbacks, being 1 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West seems almost unimaginable.
Yet that’s where Arizona stands after a 5-3 win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. Star slugger Paul Goldschmidt hit his 33rd home run and the Diamondbacks held off the NL East leaders in a matchup of slumping playoff contenders.
The Braves lost for the fourth time in five games and had their edge over Philadelphia cut to 2 1/2 games.
The Diamondbacks, who had lost five of six, moved within 1 1/2 games of Colorado atop the NL West.
“We’ve lost a lot of tough games like these, and it’s just nice to see us come out on the other side of it,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “Nice to see these guys smile, nice to see these guys have some fun, nice to have that good feeling after playing a game.”
Johan Camargo homered, doubled twice and drove in two runs for Atlanta. Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta made a sliding catch on Camargo’s shallow fly ball for the final out, emphatically pumping his fist to celebrate.
Goldschmidt homered for the ninth time in 27 games, sending an opposite-field drive to right for a solo shot in the first. He reached base in all five of his plate appearances, going 2 for 2 with three walks.
Daniel Descalso’s two-run single highlighted a three-run third inning that put Arizona ahead 4-1.
Patrick Corbin (11-5) gave up one run and four hits in six innings, striking out nine. Brad Boxberger got two outs for his 32nd save.
“All these games are important. They’re all going to be a battle,” Corbin said. “You just have to make quality pitches.”
Braves starter Kevin Gausman (9-10) lasted 4 2/3 innings. He was charged with four runs and seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
“I was making some pretty bad misses trying to go away and missing in on a guy,” Gausman said. “I didn’t throw enough offspeed pitches for strikes.”
Camargo made it 1-all with his 17th homer and second in two days, connecting in the third.
“A highlight reel,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Camargo. “Kid’s playing unbelievable. Just really maturing, growing. He’s come so far and he’s showing us he’s a legitimate guy.”
Peralta hit an RBI single in the third as Arizona strung together three straight singles to take a 2-1 lead. After a walk to A.J. Pollock, Descalso bounced a hit through the right side to drive in two more runs.
The Braves battled back in the eighth against reliever Archie Bradley, who gave up an RBI double to Camargo and consecutive infield hits to Nick Markakis and Tyler Flowers to load the bases with one out.
Brad Ziegler relieved, and an error by shortstop Nick Amhed gave Atlanta another run that made it 4-3.
Bradley was visibly unhappy in the dugout after another bumpy outing. He’s had several over the past week.
“When you’re going through a little bit of a rough patch, it seems like the ball doesn’t bounce your way,” Bradley said. “But I made good pitches, they just beat me.”
Ziegler protected the lead, striking out Adam Duvall and getting Dansby Swanson to fly out with the bases loaded.
“There’s no lead that’s safe with them,” Ziegler said of the Braves.
Eduardo Escobar’s sacrifice fly gave the Diamondbacks an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth.
END(ER) OF THEIR NIGHTS
Braves OF Ender Inciarte, apparently unhappy with the strike zone, was ejected after striking out swinging at a pitch in the dirt to end the top of the fourth. He said something to home plate umpire Doug Eddings and was tossed, then proceeded to kick at the dirt and shout some more in Eddings’ face before going back to the dugout.
“Sometimes guys get frustrated and voice opinions on things. It happens,” Snitker said.
Eddings also ejected Braves hitting coach Kevin Seitzer in the eighth when he yelled from the dugout after Duvall was called out on strikes.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (9-7) makes his team-high 28th start on Saturday against Arizona. The Braves are 16-11 in his starts this season.
Diamondbacks: Saturday’s scheduled starter RHP Clay Buchholz (7-2) has a 0.64 earned run average in his last four starts, but carries a 6.06 ERA in three starts against Atlanta in his career.