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Atlanta's Giles records four hits, game-winning double

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- This is what the Atlanta Braves were expecting when they made Marcus Giles their leadoff hitter.

Giles had four hits, including a run-scoring double with two outs in the eighth inning that gave the Atlanta Braves their third straight win, 5-4 over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Hitting .195 entering the game, Giles had three straight singles and scored the Braves' first run before coming through with the game-winning hit off Jose Mesa.

Asked what he did to turn things around, Giles quipped, "Well, I sacrificed a live chicken." Turning serious, he added, "Really, the ball just happened to fall in the right places. You can't say you're hitting the ball good when you're hitting about .180. But I did feel like I was hitting better than that."

Mesa took over for Ray King (1-2) after Wilson Betemit's pinch-hit single with two outs. Mesa's first pitch skidded to the backstop, allowing Betemit to take second. Sitting on a 2-0 fastball, Giles hit a liner over the head of left fielder Matt Holliday.

Giles figured that Mesa would groove a pitch with Edgar Renteria coming up next. The Braves' No. 2 batter extended his hitting streak to 17 games -- an Atlanta record for the start of the season -- and has a .375 average.

"Our best hitter was on deck," Giles said. "I knew the last thing he wanted to do was face Renteria. I would have been glad just to hit a clean single somewhere. The last thing I'm trying to do is hit one to the wall, but it worked out."

After longtime leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal signed with the Dodgers during the offseason, Giles inherited the role. It took some getting used to, but he wasn't all that worried about his slow start.

"You don't want to just take it, but you have to deal with it," said Giles, who raised his average 35 points in one night and knows "five good days can turn it all around."

Lance Cormier (2-1) earned the win by getting the final two outs in the top half of the eighth. Chris Reitsma worked a scoreless ninth for his sixth save in seven chances.

The Braves' winning streak -- their longest of the season -- followed a five-game skid that left them seven games behind the Mets in the NL East. They've got the deficit down to five as they begin an eight-game road trip that includes a stop in New York this weekend.

Atlanta, which has won 14 straight division titles, is eager to show that it will be contending for No. 15.

"We want to prove that we're going to be someone to deal with in this division," Giles said.

Holliday homered twice for the Rockies, and Brad Hawpe also went deep -- all off Braves starter Jose Sosa.

Sosa limited the Rockies to six hits in six innings, but he couldn't the ball in the park with a 3-1 lead. A surprising 13-game winner in 2005, the right-hander remained at 0-4 this season with a 6.65 ERA, having allowed six homers in 21 2/3 innings.

"My slider wasn't working tonight," Sosa said. "I threw a changeup and gave up a home run. But my control is there. My fastball is there. I just have to work on my changeup."

Holliday had the fifth two-homer game of his career but it wasn't enough to prevent the Rockies from getting swept in the two-game series in Atlanta. Still, they managed a 5-4 road trip and held their surprising lead in the NL West.

"Anytime you win a road trip, you've got to take it," Holliday said. "We're playing pretty well. This one just got away."

Rockies starter Aaron Cook went 6 2/3 innings. He was lifted with a 4-3 lead after walking Chipper Jones, but Scott Dohmann gave up a double to Andruw Jones that allowed the other Jones to score the tying run all the way from first.

The Braves scored all of their runs with two-out hits. Andruw Jones, Adam LaRoche and Jeff Francoeur came through in a three-run third.

"I didn't make good pitches with two outs," Cook said. "They came up with some clutch hits."

Notes

  • SS Clint Barmes will not be with the Rockies for Wednesday's game against Cincinnati. He was excused to attend a cousin's funeral, then will return to Colorado on Thursday for the finale of a brief series against Cincinnati.
  • Holliday's two-homer game was the second for a Rockies player this season. Jason Smith hit two at San Diego on April 9.
  • Braves LF Ryan Langerhans made a diving catch in the fourth to deny Barmes a probable double.
  • Rockies 1B prospect Ryan Shealy homered in his first at-bat for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday. He joined the Sky Sox after spending April at extended spring training in Tucson to rehab an injured elbow.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Marcus Giles helps his .195 batting average with four hits in five at-bats.  (AP)
Marcus Giles helps his .195 batting average with four hits in five at-bats. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

M. Giles
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
Colorado

M. Holliday
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
 
Colorado Rockies
Cory Sullivan, CF4110110
Clint Barmes, SS3001011
Matt Holliday, LF4222010
Garrett Atkins, 3B4020010
Brad Hawpe, RF3131100
Luis Gonzalez, 1B4000005
Jamey Carroll, 2B4000004
    Jose Mesa, P0000000
Miguel Ojeda, C3000000
   a- Ryan Spilborghs, PH1000000
Aaron Cook, P3000000
    Scott Dohmann, P0000000
    Ray King, P0000000
    Jason Smith, 2B1000010
Totals344842510 
a-grounded out for Ojeda in the 9th
Batting
2B - Garrett Atkins (, Sosa)
3B - Cory Sullivan (, Sosa)
HR - Matt Holliday 2 (, Sosa, Sosa), Brad Hawpe (, Sosa)
SF - Clint Barmes ()
RBI - Clint Barmes (), Matt Holliday 2 (), Brad Hawpe ()
SB - Cory Sullivan (, 2nd base off Villarreal/McCann)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Carroll-Barmes-Gonzalez, Carroll-Barmes-Gonzalez, Cook-Barmes-Gonzalez
Colorado Rockies
Aaron Cook 6.21044330
Scott Dohmann (BS,) 0.1100110
Ray King (L,-) 0.2111000
Jose Mesa 0.1100000
IBB - LaRoche by Scott Dohmann
WP - Jose Mesa ()
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Cook 92-56, Scott Dohmann 13-5, Ray King 12-7, Jose Mesa 5-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Cook 11-3, Ray King 1-1
Batters Faced - Aaron Cook 30, Scott Dohmann 3, Ray King 3, Jose Mesa 2
Atlanta Braves
Marcus Giles, 2B5141000
Edgar Renteria, SS5020004
Chipper Jones, 3B3110113
Andruw Jones, CF4122012
Adam LaRoche, 1B3111102
Jeff Francoeur, RF4011012
Brian McCann, C3010101
Ryan Langerhans, LF3000012
   a- Matt Diaz, PH-LF1000000
Jorge Sosa, P1000101
   b- Pete Orr, PH1000001
    Oscar Villarreal, P0000000
    Mike Remlinger, P0000000
    Lance Cormier, P0000000
   c- Wilson Betemit, PH1110000
    Chris Reitsma, P0000000
Totals3451354418 
a-lined out for Langerhans in the 8th
b-grounded into a double play for Sosa in the 6th
c-singled for Cormier in the 8th
Batting
2B - Marcus Giles (, Mesa), Andruw Jones (, Dohmann), Adam LaRoche (, Cook)
RBI - Marcus Giles (), Andruw Jones 2 (), Adam LaRoche (), Jeff Francoeur ()
2-OUT RBI - Marcus Giles (), Andruw Jones 2 (), Adam LaRoche (), Jeff Francoeur ()
SB - Andruw Jones (, 2nd base off Cook/Ojeda)
Team LOB - 9
Atlanta Braves
Jorge Sosa 6644133
Oscar Villarreal 1000110
Mike Remlinger 0.1200000
Lance Cormier (W,-) 0.2000000
Chris Reitsma (S,) 1000010
IBB - Hawpe by Jorge Sosa
Pitches-Strikes - Jorge Sosa 87-54, Oscar Villarreal 18-10, Mike Remlinger 16-14, Lance Cormier 7-5, Chris Reitsma 15-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jorge Sosa 5-10, Oscar Villarreal 1-1, Mike Remlinger 1-0, Chris Reitsma 2-0
Batters Faced - Jorge Sosa 25, Oscar Villarreal 4, Mike Remlinger 3, Lance Cormier 2, Chris Reitsma 3
Game Information
Attendance - 22813
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Lance Barksdale