PHOENIX -- After making his last four starts with Triple-A Gwinnett, Matt Wisler returned to the Majors with a dominant performance. The Braves right-hander carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in a 3-1 win over the D-backs on Thursday night at Chase Field.
Wisler (5-11) lost four of his five starts in July, posting an 8.89 ERA for the month, before being demoted. He returned with eight innings of one-run ball, allowing two hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Atlanta scored a pair of runs in the third and Gordon Beckham added an RBI double in the sixth, salvaging a split in the four-game series with Arizona.
"I kind of saw [the possible no-hitter], but I really didn't think about it because it's pretty hard to complete," Wisler said. "So, I just went out there, took it one pitch at a time and tried to see how many outs I could get."
D-backs starter Robbie Ray (7-12) lost for the first time in his last four starts, allowing two earned runs on six hits over five innings. Paul Goldschmidt's single ended Wisler's no-hit bid to open the seventh. He later scored Arizona's lone run on a Chris Owings groundout.
"He battled again," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "It was a little reminiscent of some of his outings last year, where he would only give up a couple runs, but it took a lot of pitches to do it. Again, he gave us a chance to win."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Impressive return: Showing some of the aggressiveness the Braves wanted him to regain as he spent the past few weeks with Gwinnett, Wisler pitched around a couple of early walks and benefited from the great stop Dansby Swanson made on Owings' sharp grounder in the second inning. Swanson booted Owings' grounder to begin the fifth, but Wisler followed by inducing a double play. Jean Segura's two-out single in the eighth prevented Wisler from allowing one hit over eight innings for the second time this season. He did so on May 3 at Citi Field.
"He did a great job and it was fun to watch," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "I told him afterward, your bullpen thanks you. Those guys needed a blow and he provided it." More >
Early exit for Ray: After completing six innings in three of his four previous starts this month, Ray only made it through five and needed 108 pitches to do so. The left-hander, who won National League Player of the Week honors last week, issued four walks, the most he's had in a start since May 21. However, Ray did notch at least seven strikeouts for the 11th time in his last 13 outings.
"It was just the walks," Ray said. "I need to focus on executing pitches better."
Determined effort: After flipping over a railing and bruising his back in the bottom of the second inning, Freddie Freeman remained in the game and made an immediate contribution with an RBI single in the third inning. Freeman also aggressively slid into second base to break up a potential double play that would have prevented Adonis Garcia from scoring on Nick Markakis' groundout in the two-run third.
"I feel fine," Freeman said. "I'm going to be pretty sore tomorrow, but hopefully I'll be all right." More >
Cold in the desert: After scoring 23 runs over the first three games of this series, including 10 in Wednesday's win, the D-backs' offense went cold. They had just two singles. Outside of the seventh, they had no runners get past first base.
"The scouting report was a guy that we were going to hit him hard," Segura said of Wisler. "It's just sometimes the way baseball is, sometimes you expect that you're going to get some good hits against a pitcher who's not good enough to get a start like that, but it's baseball." More >
"It felt pretty good to be able to make that play. I kind of let out a little yelp, I guess you can call it, after I made that stop. It was pretty sweet." -- Swanson on his stop of Owing's ground ball in the second inning
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Beckham's RBI double was his second hit within his past 32 at-bats and his first extra-base hit since July 27.
D-BACKS MAKE ROOM FOR POLLOCK
After the game, the D-backs optioned outfielder Mitch Haniger to Triple-A Reno. The move makes room for center fielder A.J. Pollock to be activated from the disabled list prior to Friday's series opener against the Reds at Chase Field.
Haniger hit .237 (9-for-38) with six RBIs in 10 games for Arizona, his first stint in the Majors in his career.
WHAT'S NEXT Braves: Atlanta will travel to San Francisco to begin a three-game series on Friday at 10:15 p.m. ET. Joel De La Cruz will start the series opener for the Braves, who have lost seven of 11 at AT&T Park dating back to the start of the 2013 season.
D-backs: The D-backs open a three-game series against the Reds on Friday at 6:40 p.m. MST at Chase Field. Braden Shipley (2-3, 5.45) looks for better results after losing each of his last two outings, allowing seven runs in each of them. Shipley had a 1.38 ERA in his first two starts of the month before posting an 11.32 ERA over his last two.