|Atlanta (63-45) «||1||0||7||1||0||0||0||0||x||9||15||1|
ATLANTA -- Big innings are helping the Atlanta Braves add to their big lead in the NL East.
Mike Minor allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings, Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in Atlanta's seven-run third, and the Braves beat the Colorado Rockies 9-0 Wednesday night for their sixth straight win.
The Braves have scored at least six runs in one inning while winning the first three games of the four-game series. Atlanta has scored 29 runs in the three wins.
"We're clicking on all cylinders," Freeman said.
Atlanta is threatening to run away with the NL East race. The Braves lead second-place Washington by 11 games in the division, their biggest advantage in nine years.
Braves general manager Frank Wren didn't make a trade-deadline deal on Wednesday after he acquired left-hander Scott Downs for the bullpen on Monday. Wren didn't feel pressure to add another piece to what he said already is the most complete team in his six years as general manager.
"All in all, we're pretty happy," Wren said before the game. "Our club is playing as well as we have in a long time."
Minor (11-5) didn't walk a batter and didn't allow a Colorado baserunner to reach second base.
Tyler Chatwood (7-4) allowed a career-high seven earned runs on 10 hits, one walk and one hit batter in only 2 1/3 innings.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said it was frustrating to lose back-to-back games by a combined margin of 20-3.
"These last two games have just been bad," Tulowitzki said. "We got our butts kicked."
While the Rockies have struggled, the Braves have delivered big innings in three straight games.
"I can't remember a time ever in my career three games in a row they scored, what, six-plus runs?" Tulowitzki asked. "Six in two games, seven tonight? In one inning?
"Putting together hit after hit. ... A little bit of everything. It's a tough series."
Dexter Fowler led off the game with a single up the middle and was thrown out by McCann attempting to steal second. That was the only baserunner Minor allowed until Nolan Arenado's single with two outs in the fifth.
Minor, coming off a strong outing in a win over the Cardinals on Friday night, has given up two or fewer runs in five straight starts. He threw 95 pitches, 70 for strikes.
Minor said the biggest challenge was staying sharp through the Braves' long innings and maintaining his edge with the big lead.
"It's hard to keep the focus as tight when you have a big lead like that," Minor said.
The Braves' first six batters reached base in the third inning. Freeman and Evan Gattis had run-scoring singles before McCann's 15th homer pushed the lead to 6-0. Minor's RBI single knocked Chatwood out of the game.
Freeman singled and scored on Chris Johnson's single off Adam Outman in the fourth.
Gonzalez, playing with a sprained middle finger on his right hand that affects his ability to grip the bat, lost the bat on his follow-through while striking out to end the first. The bat hit catcher McCann's shoulder, and he slumped forward for a few seconds before walking to the dugout.
Gonzalez, who throws left-handed, threw out Dan Uggla at the plate from left field in the second inning as Uggla tried to score from second on Andrelton Simmons' single. TV replays indicated catcher Yorvit Torrealba may have missed Uggla on his swipe tag, and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez came out for a brief exchange with home-plate umpire Marty Foster.
DJ LeMahieu pinch hit for Gonzalez in the fourth inning.
There was a delay in the seventh after Rockies right-hander Wilton Lopez hit Simmons with a pitch. The ball glanced off Simmons' chest and then squarely hit Foster's left forearm. Foster left the game after he was examined by Braves assistant trainer Jim Lovell. X-rays were negative.
Umpire Marvin Hudson moved from first base to take over at home.
Luis Ayala pitched the final two innings and stranded two baserunners in the ninth.
|Mike Minor, who holds the Rockies to just two hits through seven scoreless innings, lowers his ERA down to 2.75. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Dexter Fowler, CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.270|
|Charlie Culberson, 2B-LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.000|
|Carlos Gonzalez, LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.303|
|a-DJ LeMahieu, PH-2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.270|
|Troy Tulowitzki, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.323|
|b-Charlie Blackmon, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.242|
|Michael Cuddyer, RF||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.329|
|Jonathan Herrera, SS||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.263|
|Nolan Arenado, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.253|
|Todd Helton, 1B||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.257|
|Wilin Rosario, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.277|
|Yorvit Torrealba, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.275|
|Tyler Chatwood, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.333|
|c-Corey Dickerson, PH-RF||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.262|
|a-grounded out for C. Gonzalez in the 4th|
|b-grounded out for Lopez in the 9th|
|c-grounded out for Ottavino in the 6th|
|CS - Dexter Fowler (6, 2nd base by Minor/McCann)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Outfield Assists - Carlos Gonzalez 1|
|DP - Helton-Tulowitzki|
|E - Nolan Arenado (8, Throwing), Charlie Culberson (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Tyler Chatwood (L,7-4)||2.1||10||8||7||1||1||1||3.15|
|WP - Tyler Chatwood (7), Adam Ottavino (7)|
|HBP - Uggla (by Tyler Chatwood), Simmons (by Wilton Lopez)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tyler Chatwood 60-33, Adam Ottavino 38-28, Josh Outman 22-16, Wilton Lopez 31-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tyler Chatwood 3-2, Adam Ottavino 2-3, Josh Outman 1-1, Wilton Lopez 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Tyler Chatwood 18, Adam Ottavino 11, Josh Outman 5, Wilton Lopez 9|
|Jason Heyward, CF||4||2||0||1||1||1||1||.231|
|Justin Upton, RF||5||1||3||0||0||2||2||.257|
|Freddie Freeman, 1B||4||2||4||2||1||0||0||.309|
|Evan Gattis, LF-C||5||1||2||1||0||1||5||.255|
|Brian McCann, C||4||1||1||3||0||1||4||.283|
|Todd Cunningham, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||5||1||2||1||0||1||2||.342|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.199|
|Andrelton Simmons, SS||3||1||2||0||0||0||1||.252|
|Mike Minor, P||3||0||1||1||0||0||1||.146|
|a-Joe Terdoslavich, PH-1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.281|
|a-flied out for Minor in the 7th|
|2B - Andrelton Simmons (14, Chatwood)|
|HR - Brian McCann (15, Chatwood)|
|RBI - Jason Heyward (27), Freddie Freeman 2 (71), Evan Gattis (43), Brian McCann 3 (41), Chris Johnson (37), Mike Minor (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chris Johnson (20)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|E - Chris Johnson (11, Throwing)|
|Mike Minor (W,11-5)||7||2||0||0||0||6||0||2.75|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Minor 95-70, Luis Ayala 29-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Minor 8-6, Luis Ayala 3-1|
|Batters Faced - Mike Minor 22, Luis Ayala 9|
|Attendance - 22097|
|Game Time - 3:00|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Jordan Baker, Third Base - Tim McClelland|