‘Folty’ falters as Braves lose to D-Backs

It’s not May anymore for Mike Foltynewicz and the Braves.

Back then, Foltynewicz excited fans at Turner Field with his powerful fastball. The Braves were still competitive and Foltynewicz looked like a key piece of the rotation.

Now Foltynewicz is showing the kind of inconsistency that got him sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett in June, and the Braves are playing out the string. The Diamondbacks roughed up Foltynewicz on Saturday on their way to an 8-4 victory.

Foltynewicz allowed six runs over 4 2/3 innings. It was his least effective outing in his four starts since rejoining the Braves after Manny Banuelos was placed on the disabled list.

“You see some glimpses of some pretty good stuff coming out of that arm,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Now we’ve got to get the whole thing together: the pitches, the location, his ‘pitchability,’ getting through innings. That’s stuff that every day we are working at it.”

The Braves (52-64) lost for the fourth time in five games. They couldn’t solve Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin, who held them to three hits over 6 2/3 innings.

The Braves rallied with four runs in the eighth inning against the bullpen, including Nick Swisher’s two-run homer. But the Diamondbacks added two runs in the ninth against right-hander Jake Brigham.

Jonny Gomes and Adonis Garcia had two-out, RBI hits against lefty Keith Hessler and Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer against Daniel Hudson to cut the deficit to 6-4. The rally stayed alive when Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons reached on an error by Diamondbacks counterpart Chris Owings.

But Ryan Lavarnway struck out to end the inning and the Diamondbacks added two runs in the ninth inning against right-hander Jake Brigham. The Braves (52-64) suffered their fourth loss in five games.

The Diamondbacks (57-58) only hit a handful of balls hard against Foltynewicz (4-4). Unfortunately for him, most of them came at the wrong time and one of them left the ballpark.

“The line wasn’t pretty but I thought I went out there and made some pitches, got some ground ball outs when I needed to,” Foltynewicz said. “But at the end of the day you can’t leave sliders and fastballs over the middle of the plate with two strikes. It’s probably a broken record, but the two-strike put-away pitches I’ve got to get better at and tonight I didn’t execute them. I left a lot of pitches up in the zone which (leads) to bloop hits like that.”

A.J. Pollock’s one-out double against Foltynewicz in the first inning fell in front of Cameron Maybin in shallow center field. After Paul Goldschmidt struck out, David Peralta smacked a single over shortstop Andrelton Simmons to score Pollock.

Foltynewicz retired the next six batters he faced before Peralta led off the fourth inning with a home run to right field. Aaron Hill scored when Chris Owings reached on a fielder’s choice. Braves third baseman Garcia couldn’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly on a potential ground ball double play.

Peralta collected his third RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Hill followed Peralta with another sacrifice fly and Jake Lamb hit a run-scoring double down the right-field line.

That chased Foltynewicz after just 4 2/3 innings, which was his shortest start since he lasted 4 1/3 innings at the Mets on June 14. The six earned runs allowed by Foltynewicz tied for the most he’d given up in a game after he did the same against the Giants on Aug. 3.

While the Diamondbacks got to Foltynewicz, Corbin (3-3) handcuffed the Braves.

After Maybin’s single with one out in the first inning, the Braves didn’t get another hit until Lavarnway doubled with two outs in the fifth. Corbin ended the threat by retiring Braves pitcher Edwin Jackson, who batted because he had to pitch 2 1/3 innings in relief of Foltynewicz.

“You’ve got to tip your hat sometimes,” Swisher said. “He was working the fastball both sides of the plate. He had a good slider. Really didn’t leave anything in the middle part of the plate. Hat’s off to him.”