The Braves completed a 4 game sweep of the Rockies Thursday afternoon with a 6-3 victory. Tim Hudson(ERA 3.57) brought his record to 8-6, going 7.1 innings and giving up 3 runs, 5 hits, 3 BB, and 3 Ks. He threw 115 pitches in the Atlanta heat.
The Rockies picked up a run in the first behind a Jason Giambi RBI double. In the 3rd, Hudson got into some trouble. After a couple of soft hits and a fielder’s choice, the Rockies scored their second run (another RBI for Giambi). Chipper then made a nice play on a grounder and went third to first for a DP to get us out of the inning.
In the Braves’ 3rd, our offense collected 6 hits and 5 runs before the Rockies’ pitcher Nicasio could record an out. Jordan Schafer led off with a double. Alex Gonzalez knocked him in with a RBI single (his 26th). Chipper followed with a single, then Freddie Freeman stroked a 3 run homer (13th HR, 42nd RBI). Dan Uggla (!) hit a double and Jason Heyward brought him in with a RBI single.
In the bottom of the 5th, Heyward hit a home run(9th HR,22nd RBI) off of Stults. Heyward was a triple short of the cycle. He should have had a 4 for 4 day but the umpire made a bad call on an infield single, calling Heyward out at first when Jason clearly beat the throw.
In the top of the 7th, Hudson got an out then issued a walk so Fredi Gonzalez brought in Eric O’Flaherty(ERA 1.13). O’Flaherty struggled. He got an out but he also allowed 2 walks and a hit. A run scored on a wild pitch. Catcher David Ross retrieved the ball and O’Flaherty was there to cover home and apply the tag but the pitcher dropped the ball. Venters(ERA 1.52) had to come in to get the final out of the inning with a K.
Craig Kimbrel(ERA 2.40) came on in the 9th to record his 27th save which sets the record for most saves by a rookie before the All-Star break.
Rockies’ left fielder Charlie Blackmon fractured his left foot during the game. He did it running the bases, either when he stumbled rounding second or when he slid into third, I’m not sure which.
The Rockies claimed former Braves outfielder Joe Mather and sent him to their minor league club.
Standings: The Braves are 2 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the NL East. We are the Wildcard leader by 5 games over Arizona, by 6 games over St. Louis/Milwaukee, by 7 games over Pittsburgh, by 7 1/2 games over New York, and by 8 games over Washington. The Braves are 53-36.
Tonight’s Game: The Braves start an important series with the Phillies tonight in Philadelphia. I know it’s early to say it’s a big series but we don’t play the Phillies that many more times and it appears that no one else is going to beat the Phils, so we better beat them while we have the chance. Tonight it is RH Brandon Beachy vs RH Roy Halliday at 7:05 on Sportsouth. So far, Beachy is 0-3 in 4 career starts against the Phillies. Go Braves–Stay Hot!
Corrections: If Martin Prado plays in Gwinnett this weekend then he obviously won’t play in the Phillies series because it will be played at the same time. I thought Martin might play in a couple of away Gwinnett games and then get activated by the Braves so he could play in the Phillies series but it appears that they will wait until after the All-Star break to bring him off the DL. I earlier misspelled Rockies’ SS–it should be Herrera, not Herrara.