Braves beat Diamondbacks 1-0 to complete sweep

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Tim Hudson allowed three hits over seven innings and combined with two relievers on a shutout as the Braves beat the Diamondbacks 1-0 to complete a three-game sweep Sunday.

It was the fifth straight loss for Arizona.

The lone run of the game came when shortstop Alex Gonzalez took Josh Collmenter deep in the seventh inning.  It was just the second RBI in 11 games for the slumping Gonzalez, who is hitting .233/.260/.345 in 481 at-bats this season.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, again got nothing from their shortstop position.  Willie Bloomquist went hitless for the fifth time in his last six starts.  He’s hitting .206/.306/.270 in 63 at-bats during August.

Hudson won his fourth straight, moving to 13-7 with a 3.01 ERA.  The Braves have won each of his last five starts.  Also, the team has lost just twice all season when scoring at least four runs in a Hudson start.

Craig Kimbrel picked up his 39th save by striking out the side (around a single and a walk) in the ninth.

With four wins in a row, the Braves are tied with the Brewers for the second-best record in the NL.  They’re certainly not catching the Phillies, but they’ll end the day with an eight- or nine-game lead over the Giants in the wild card, which means they can start printing playoff tickets anytime now.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.