DENVER -- After watching yet another blown save, it would have been easy for the Colorado Rockies to give up.
Not this bunch. No matter how many games they lose or how many times the bullpen butchers a lead, the Rockies aren't going to back down.
Todd Greene hit a game-winning, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth after Atlanta scored three runs in the top half of the inning, giving the Rockies a 6-5 victory on Wednesday.
"One of the strengths of this club is it has a lot of backbone," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "As demoralizing as it was, we knew we had an opportunity to win the game."
Colorado got an impressive start from Byung-Hyun Kim and led 4-2 heading into the ninth, only to see Chin-hui Tsao (1-0) blow the save. The rookie closer was successful in his first four save opportunities, but clearly didn't have his best stuff against the Braves.
Ryan Langerhans led off the ninth with a homer, then Rafael Furcal hit a two-out bloop single to center. Marcus Giles tied it with a run-scoring double off the wall in right, then Julio Franco lined a single to right to put the Braves up 5-4.
It wasn't a good sign for a team that has lost more games in late innings than any other in baseball the past two years.
"That ninth of theirs was tough," Colorado's Dustan Mohr said. "To have a tough inning like that and you think you have a two-run lead, then all of a sudden you're down one took a lot out of our sails."
But Mohr helped the Rockies get their wind back -- against Dan Kolb, no less. The Braves closer got Cory Sullivan on a hard liner to open the ninth, then Mohr hit a long, pinch-hit solo homer to left.
Clint Barmes and Aaron Miles followed with consecutive singles, and Kolb (1-3) intentionally walked Todd Helton to load the bases. Manager Bobby Cox replaced Kolb with Chris Reitsma, who struck out Preston Wilson before giving up Greene's winning single up the middle. Kolb had converted nine of his previous 10 save chances.
"It's just Coors Field," Cox said.
Helton finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and Greene had three RBI for Colorado, which has won three of four since an eight-game losing streak. Langerhans homered twice and Andruw Jones hit a solo shot for Atlanta, which dropped two of three to the last-place Rockies after a five-game winning streak.
Braves starter John Smoltz didn't seem to have any lingering effects from the back strain that forced him out after five innings of his last start. Working quickly and hitting his spots, he allowed two runs before running into trouble in the eighth.
Helton started it off with a double, then Brad Hawpe followed with a run-scoring triple. Greene followed with a run-scoring single up the middle through a drawn-in infield to put Colorado up 4-2.
Smoltz allowed four runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in eight innings.
"This is not a fun place no matter how good you feel," Smoltz said. "It was one of those games that ended up being too good to be true."
Kim has been nearly unhittable this season -- a .178 average against -- but has had all kinds of control problems with 15 walks, five wild pitches and three hit batters in 13 innings. He walked four -- two intentional -- and gave up a solo homer to Andruw Jones in the fourth inning, but left with a 2-1 lead after giving up just three hits after replacing Joe Kennedy (ankle) in the rotation.
"What a start we got from Kim. He kept us in the game," Hurdle said.
Atlanta tied it in the sixth inning on Langerhans' solo homer off Jose Acevedo.
|Players of the Game|
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|Rafael Furcal, SS||5||1||1||0||0||1||3||.245|
|Marcus Giles, 2B||5||1||1||1||0||2||0||.318|
|Chipper Jones, 3B||4||0||1||0||1||1||0||.337|
|Julio Franco, 1B||5||0||2||1||0||0||1||.275|
|Andruw Jones, CF||4||1||1||1||1||0||3||.287|
|Johnny Estrada, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.237|
|Ryan Langerhans, LF||4||2||2||2||0||0||0||.250|
|Raul Mondesi, RF||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.200|
|John Smoltz, P||2||0||0||0||1||2||3||.143|
|a- Adam LaRoche, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.253|
|Danny Kolb, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Reitsma, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-lined out for Smoltz in the 9th|
|2B - Marcus Giles (14, Tsao), Chipper Jones (12, Kim)|
|HR - Andruw Jones (6, Kim), Ryan Langerhans 2 (5, Acevedo, Tsao)|
|RBI - Marcus Giles (6), Julio Franco (4), Andruw Jones (20), Ryan Langerhans 2 (12)|
|2-OUT RBI - Marcus Giles (3), Julio Franco (3)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Furcal-Franco|
|E - Julio Franco (3, missed catch), Marcus Giles (4, wild throw)|
|Danny Kolb (BS,2; L,1-3)||0.1||3||2||2||1||0||1||6.28|
|IBB - Helton by Danny Kolb|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 110-73, Danny Kolb 20-12, Chris Reitsma 9-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 9-11|
|Batters Faced - John Smoltz 34, Danny Kolb 5, Chris Reitsma 2|
|Clint Barmes, SS||5||2||2||0||0||0||0||.395|
|Aaron Miles, 2B||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.294|
|Todd Helton, 1B||4||2||3||0||1||0||0||.307|
|Bradley Hawpe, RF||3||1||1||1||1||1||2||.329|
|Chin-Hui Tsao, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Preston Wilson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||3||.244|
|Todd Greene, C||5||0||3||3||0||0||2||.300|
|Desi Relaford, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.255|
|Matt Holliday, LF||4||0||1||0||0||2||4||.255|
|Cory Sullivan, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.309|
|Byung-Hyun Kim, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|b- Jason Jennings, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.154|
|Jose Acevedo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Luis Gonzalez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.255|
|Brian Fuentes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Dustan Mohr, RF||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.143|
|a-struck out for Tsao in the 9th|
|b-flied out for Kim in the 5th|
|c-flied out for Acevedo in the 7th|
|2B - Todd Helton 2 (12, Smoltz, Smoltz)|
|3B - Clint Barmes (1, Smoltz), Bradley Hawpe (1, Smoltz)|
|HR - Dustan Mohr (2, Kolb)|
|SF - Aaron Miles (1)|
|RBI - Aaron Miles (13), Bradley Hawpe (19), Todd Greene 3 (11), Dustan Mohr (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Todd Greene (6)|
|SB - Bradley Hawpe (1, 2nd base off Smoltz/Estrada)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Clint Barmes (6, wild throw), Dustan Mohr (1, misplayed grounder)|
|Jose Acevedo (BS,1)||2||1||1||1||0||1||1||3.97|
|Chin-Hui Tsao (BS,1; W,1-0)||1||4||3||3||1||0||1||6.55|
|IBB - Mondesi by Byung-Hyun Kim, by Mondesi, Jones by Chin-Hui Tsao|
|Pitches-Strikes - Byung-Hyun Kim 90-51, Jose Acevedo 17-12, Brian Fuentes 14-10, Chin-Hui Tsao 18-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Byung-Hyun Kim 4-7, Jose Acevedo 2-3, Brian Fuentes 2-0, Chin-Hui Tsao 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Byung-Hyun Kim 23, Jose Acevedo 7, Brian Fuentes 3, Chin-Hui Tsao 8|
|Attendance - 19631|
|Game Time - 2:39|
|Temperature - 48|
|Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Tim Timmons|