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Colorado (15-23)001000000131
Atlanta (19-19) «13200002x8130

Jurrjens stifles Rockies as Braves cruise to easy win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Jair Jurrjens knew eventually the Atlanta Braves would score some runs in one of his starts.

The only question was when.

"It's like going to the ice cream store when you were a little kid," Jurrjens said with a grin. "You relax more and just throw strikes. Try to work on the pitch count, try to work deep in the game."

 Rockies' Helton reaches 2,000 hits

Jurrjens pitched seven strong innings, and Casey Kotchman had three hits and three RBI to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Colorado Rockies 8-1 on Tuesday night.

Lowering his ERA 10 points to 1.96, Jurrjens (4-2) scattered three hits and allowed one run in seven innings. The right-hander struck out a season-high eight and walked three.

"Just come out and throw strikes," said Jurrjens, whose previous eight starts resulted in an average of only 2.3 runs of support. "That's the thing that's been working for me, just being aggressive. Before I was trying to be perfect. Now I'm up there challenging the hitters, making sure I get ahead and make them get themselves out."

In their previous three games, the Braves had scored just four runs, but the win improved them to 7-11 at Turner Field. They began the night with a .353 home winning percentage that was second-worst in the majors.

Manager Bobby Cox, hoping to change Atlanta's poor fortunes at Turner Field, tweaked the batting order with Yunel Escobar leading off, Kotchman hitting second and dropping Kelly Johnson to the sixth spot.

Atlanta's 13 hits were its most at Turner Field since the home opener, a 10-inning, 6-5 victory over Washington on April 10.

One of the few highlights for Colorado, which has lost five of seven, was Todd Helton's 2,000 career hit. The Rockies' first baseman singled in third to become the 255th player to reach the milestone.

"That's a lot of hits," Helton said. "I'm proud of every hit I've got."

Johnson had three hits for the first time in 25 games, improving his average 18 points to .243.

"I think that when you put up eight runs, whatever the lineup is after we haven't scored any runs," Johnson said, "I think we should stick with it."

Escobar, Kotchman and Johnson combined to go 7-for-13 with three runs scored.

"I'm just happy to have a costume on, so wherever you can be in the lineup, just try to contribute when you get the chance," Kotchman said. "I don't analyze anything like that. I just try to play."

Jason Hammel (0-3) lost his third straight start for the Rockies, allowing six runs and 10 hits.

"It's frustrating because we're losing," Hammel said. "We're giving up little hits. We're making pitches, and we're making plays. Sometimes it just doesn't go your way."

After Brian McCann's RBI single in the first made it 1-0, Atlanta scored three unearned runs in the second to take a 4-0 lead.

Johnson singled and moved to second when Jeff Francoeur reached on second baseman Clint Barmes' fielding error. On a fielder's choice grounder by Jordan Schafer, Francoeur was thrown out at second, but Johnson advanced to third and scored on Jurrjens' RBI infield single.

Escobar's infield single loaded the bases for Kotchman, whose RBI single drove in Schafer. Chipper Jones' RBI walk made it 4-0.

Troy Tulowitzki's sacrifice fly in the third cut the lead to 4-1, but Schafer responded with a two-run single to make it 6-1 in Atlanta's half of the inning.

Schafer moved to third on a wild pitch, but was thrown out at the plate on an assist from center fielder Dexter Fowler to end the third. Catcher Chris Iannetta held onto the ball despite Schafer's attempt to jar it loose in a collision.

Notes

  • Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said LHP Franklin Morales, on the 15-day disabled list since April 21 with a shoulder sprain, will throw simulated innings on Wednesday.
  • Braves RHP Jorge Campillo, on the DL with rotator cuff tendinitis, will pitch two or three innings in long relief at Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday.
 
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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Jair Jurrjens makes a habit of pitching well. He strikes out eight and lowers his ERA to 1.96. (AP)
Jair Jurrjens makes a habit of pitching well. He strikes out eight and lowers his ERA to 1.96. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

C. Kotchman
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
Atlanta

J. Jurrjens
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 3
K 8
 

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Colorado Rockies
Dexter Fowler, CF2010200 .254
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3001002 .244
Todd Helton, 1B3010101 .336
Brad Hawpe, RF4000023 .333
Chris Iannetta, C3000120 .237
Seth Smith, LF3000011 .282
   a- Ryan Spilborghs, PH0000100 .270
Ian Stewart, 3B4000032 .189
Clint Barmes, 2B3110011 .240
Jason Hammel, P1000000 .000
   b- Garrett Atkins, PH1000010 .192
    Joel Peralta, P0000000 .000
Totals27131510  
a-walked for Smith in the 9th
b-struck out for Hammel in the 7th
Batting
2B - Clint Barmes (6, Jurrjens)
SF - Troy Tulowitzki (2)
SH - Jason Hammel (1)
RBI - Troy Tulowitzki (13)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Dexter Fowler 2
DP - Fowler-Iannetta
E - Clint Barmes (2, Misplayed grounder)
Colorado Rockies
Jason Hammel (L,0-3) 61063140 4.60
Joel Peralta 2322020 9.00
HBP - Francoeur (by Joel Peralta), Escobar (by Joel Peralta)
WP - Jason Hammel (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 103-66, Joel Peralta 46-29
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 8-5, Joel Peralta 2-2
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 28, Joel Peralta 11
Atlanta Braves
Yunel Escobar, SS4110010 .302
Casey Kotchman, 1B5133000 .301
Chipper Jones, 3B4011112 .312
Brian McCann, C4011024 .280
Garret Anderson, LF4120010 .254
Kelly Johnson, 2B4230002 .243
Jeff Francoeur, RF3100003 .242
Jordan Schafer, CF4112012 .216
Jair Jurrjens, P3111001 .118
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
   a- Greg Norton, PH1000001 .125
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
Totals36813816  
a-flied out for Soriano in the 8th
Batting
2B - Casey Kotchman 2 (15, Hammel, Peralta)
RBI - Casey Kotchman 3 (18), Chipper Jones (15), Brian McCann (13), Jordan Schafer 2 (6), Jair Jurrjens (1)
2-OUT RBI - Casey Kotchman 3 (13), Chipper Jones (8), Brian McCann (11), Jair Jurrjens (1)
SB - Kelly Johnson (2, 2nd base off Hammel/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Johnson-Kotchman
Atlanta Braves
Jair Jurrjens (W,4-2) 7311380 1.96
Rafael Soriano 1000100 1.50
Mike Gonzalez 1000120 3.57
WP - Jair Jurrjens (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jair Jurrjens 107-69, Rafael Soriano 14-7, Mike Gonzalez 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jair Jurrjens 6-7, Rafael Soriano 1-1
Batters Faced - Jair Jurrjens 27, Rafael Soriano 3, Mike Gonzalez 4
Game Information
Attendance - 16749
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Jeff Nelson