Colorado at Atlanta

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Colorado (41-44)000100000141
Atlanta (50-36) «20000101x470

Freeman goes deep twice, helps Braves top Rockies

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones' sore knee forced Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez to juggle his lineup and make rookie Freddie Freeman the cleanup hitter against the Rockies.

Freeman certainly looked comfortable in the role.

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Freeman had two home runs and three RBI, Tommy Hanson combined with two relievers on a four-hitter and Atlanta beat Colorado 4-1 on Monday night.

Freeman's two-run shot in the first inning drove in Brian McCann, who singled with two outs off Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8). Freeman hit his 11th home run in the eighth off Matt Reynolds for his first career two-homer game.

"He's been great," Gonzalez said. "For a 21-year-old young man, he's been able to compete in the major leagues, get better and help us win ballgames."

Jimenez was facing the Braves for the first time since throwing a no-hitter at Turner Field on April 17, 2010. It was the first no-hitter in Rockies history.

Freeman hit fourth -- McCann's normal spot -- for only the sixth time. Freeman has four homers and 11 RBIs in his last 11 games.

"It's just one of those things," Freeman said. "I feel like I'm doing the same thing."

Jones had a cortisone shot in his sore right knee on Sunday and might return on Tuesday.

Freeman, a left-handed hitter, said he was trying to go up the middle against Jimenez because "you don't want to try to pull a 96 mph two-seamer."

Freeman hit the first-inning home run to left-center and then pulled his second home run of the game to right.

"He had an unbelievable day," Hanson said.

Hanson (10-4) gave up one run on four hits and one walk in seven innings. He had six strikeouts while lowering his ERA to 2.52. He ranks among the league leaders in wins and ERA but wasn't selected to the NL All-Star team on Sunday.

When asked if he was motivated to show he deserved to be an All-Star, Hanson said, "Not at all."

"I just want to go out there and execute the game plan and worry about our team," he said.

Said Freeman: "He's an All-Star in all our books."

Jonny Venters worked around a walk in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save.

The Rockies were without outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who bruised his right wrist when he ran into the center-field wall Sunday against Kansas City. X-rays showed no fracture, but Gonzalez said Monday he can't grip a bat.

Manager Jim Tracy said he wouldn't rule out Gonzalez playing Tuesday.

The Rockies lost another star player in the fourth when Troy Tulowitzki left with tightness in his right quadriceps.

Tulowitzki pulled up after grounding into a double play to end the fourth. He leaned over in apparent discomfort near first base before walking slowly off the field.

Tulowitzki said he felt the tightness about halfway down the first-base line. He said he has had problems with the quadriceps before and didn't want to risk a more serious injury.

"A game or three or four or whatever is better than months," Tulowitzki said.

Jonathan Herrera replaced Tulowitzki at shortstop.

The Rockies scored in the fourth when Mark Ellis walked, stole second and scored on Todd Helton's single.

The Braves pushed their lead to 3-1 in the sixth when McCann singled and scored on Jason Heyward's double to center. Herrera bobbled the relay throw from Ryan Spilborghs for an error, and Heyward was not awarded an RBI.

The Rockies had only two hits before Herrera singled with two outs in the seventh. He moved to third on Seth Smith's double past Freeman at first base, but Hanson ended the threat by striking out Ty Wigginton. The usually stoic Hanson slapped his glove on his way off the mound.

Rain started in the sixth inning and continued without an interruption of play.

Notes

  • The Rockies recalled OF Cole Garner from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Garner flied out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth in his first major league at-bat.
  • RHP Clayton Mortensen was optioned to Colorado Springs. Mortensen was 2-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 16 games, including six starts, with the Rockies.
  • Jordan Schafer had four strikeouts as Atlanta's leadoff hitter.
  • Fredi Gonzalez said OF Martin Prado, recovering from a staph infection, may begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday or Wednesday.
 
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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Freddie Freeman hits a two-run homer in the first inning and adds a solo shot in the eighth inning.  (Getty Images)
Freddie Freeman hits a two-run homer in the first inning and adds a solo shot in the eighth inning. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

F. Freeman
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
Colorado

T. Helton
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Charlie Blackmon, LF4000002 .267
Mark Ellis, 2B3100100 .234
Todd Helton, 1B4011010 .319
Troy Tulowitzki, SS2000001 .271
    Jonathan Herrera, SS2010000 .244
Seth Smith, RF3010010 .302
Ty Wigginton, 3B3000022 .260
Ryan Spilborghs, CF3000000 .223
Chris Iannetta, C2000120 .224
Ubaldo Jimenez, P2010000 .077
    Rex Brothers, P0000000 .000
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
   a- Cole Garner, PH1000001 .000
    Matt Reynolds, P0000000 .000
Totals2914126  
a-flied out for Betancourt in the 8th
Batting
2B - Seth Smith (23, Hanson)
RBI - Todd Helton (39)
SB - Mark Ellis (8, 2nd base off Hanson/McCann)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
PB - Chris Iannetta (5)
E - Jonathan Herrera (3, Missed catch of throw)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ubaldo Jimenez (L,3-8) 5.1633191 4.39
Rex Brothers 0.2000220 3.27
Rafael Betancourt 1000010 4.59
Matt Reynolds 1111011 3.54
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 117-75, Rex Brothers 27-13, Rafael Betancourt 12-8, Matt Reynolds 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 4-3, Rafael Betancourt 1-1
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 23, Rex Brothers 4, Rafael Betancourt 3, Matt Reynolds 4
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF4000042 .224
Alex Gonzalez, SS4000012 .237
Brian McCann, C4220000 .316
Freddie Freeman, 1B3223111 .272
Jason Heyward, RF4010010 .229
Dan Uggla, 2B3000111 .173
Brooks Conrad, 3B3010022 .250
    Julio Lugo, 3B1000000 .182
Nate McLouth, LF2010110 .235
Tommy Hanson, P2000024 .077
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
    Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
Totals30473313  
Batting
2B - Jason Heyward (10, Jimenez)
HR - Freddie Freeman 2 (11, Jimenez, M. Reynolds)
SH - Tommy Hanson (6)
RBI - Freddie Freeman 3 (38)
2-OUT RBI - Freddie Freeman 2 (18)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - A. Gonzalez-Freeman, A. Gonzalez-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tommy Hanson (W,10-4) 7411160 2.52
Jonny Venters (H,17) 1000100 1.56
Craig Kimbrel (S,25) 1000000 2.51
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hanson 101-61, Jonny Venters 23-11, Craig Kimbrel 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hanson 6-7, Jonny Venters 1-2, Craig Kimbrel 1-2
Batters Faced - Tommy Hanson 24, Jonny Venters 4, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36137
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Cory Blaser, Third Base - Scott Barry