Colorado at Atlanta

Scoreboard
Colorado (51-58)000000000052
Atlanta (63-45) «10710000x9151

Minor, Braves blank Rockies for sixth straight win

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

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.

Freddie Freeman drove in two runs with four hits and Justin Upton had three hits. The Braves continued their offensive surge with 15 hits.

"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.

Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez left the game in the fourth inning after aggravating his sprained right middle finger. Manager Walt Weiss said the disabled list was a possibility for Gonzalez.

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.

Freeman's single in the first inning drove in Jason Heyward, who reached on second baseman Charlie Culberson's fielding error.

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.

Notes

  • The last time the Braves led the division by 11 games was Oct. 2, 2004.
  • Chatwood's ERA climbed from 2.48 to 3.15 with the ugly start.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren said he had a few calls "but nothing that had a lot of traction" before the trade deadline. Wren said it was a "strange" trade market and "the asking prices were very high."
  • Freeman had his second four-hit game of his career. His first was May 4, 2012, at Colorado.
  • Faces in the crowd: Former boxing champion Evander Holyfield, former Braves manager Bobby Cox and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
  • Rockies RHP Chad Bettis will be called up from Double-A Tulsa to start in his major league debut against the Braves on Thursday night. RHP Julio Teheran will start for Atlanta.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mike Minor, who holds the Rockies to just two hits through seven scoreless innings, lowers his ERA down to 2.75. (USATSI)
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
Atlanta

F. Freeman
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
Atlanta

M. Minor
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 0
K 6
 

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Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dexter Fowler, CF4020000 .270
Charlie Culberson, 2B-LF4000023 .000
Carlos Gonzalez, LF1000010 .303
   a-DJ LeMahieu, PH-2B3000012 .270
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3000000 .323
   b-Charlie Blackmon, PH1000002 .242
Michael Cuddyer, RF2000010 .329
   Jonathan Herrera, SS1010000 .263
Nolan Arenado, 3B3010001 .253
Todd Helton, 1B2000021 .257
   Wilin Rosario, 1B1000001 .277
Yorvit Torrealba, C3000001 .275
Tyler Chatwood, P1000010 .333
   c-Corey Dickerson, PH-RF2010000 .262
Totals3105008  
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
Batting
CS - Dexter Fowler (6, 2nd base by Minor/McCann)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Carlos Gonzalez 1
DP - Helton-Tulowitzki
E - Nolan Arenado (8, Throwing), Charlie Culberson (1, Misplayed grounder)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tyler Chatwood (L,7-4) 2.11087111 3.15
Adam Ottavino 2.2211040 3.00
Josh Outman 1200010 4.31
Wilton Lopez 2100110 4.64
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
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jason Heyward, CF4201111 .231
Justin Upton, RF5130022 .257
Freddie Freeman, 1B4242100 .309
Evan Gattis, LF-C5121015 .255
Brian McCann, C4113014 .283
   Todd Cunningham, LF1000000 .500
Chris Johnson, 3B5121012 .342
Dan Uggla, 2B4000014 .199
Andrelton Simmons, SS3120001 .252
Mike Minor, P3011001 .146
   a-Joe Terdoslavich, PH-1B1000001 .281
Totals39915927  
a-flied out for Minor in the 7th
Batting
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
Fielding
E - Chris Johnson (11, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Minor (W,11-5) 7200060 2.75
Luis Ayala 2300020 3.60
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
Game Information
Attendance - 22097
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Jordan Baker, Third Base - Tim McClelland