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Colorado at Atlanta

Scoreboard
Colorado (26-22)010001000280
Atlanta (27-20) «01100001x3100

Laird delivers in 8th, Braves scrape past Rockies

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- An unexpected string of four consecutive starts has helped Gerald Laird find his swing.

As a result, the veteran backup catcher is helping the Braves stretch their lead in the NL East.

Laird drove in two runs with two hits, including a tiebreaking single in the eighth, and Atlanta beat Colorado 3-2 on Friday night after the Rockies lost third baseman Nolan Arenado to a broken finger.

Arenado left the game in the second inning after fracturing his left middle finger on a head-first slide into second base. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he didn't know details of the injury, including if Arenado will need surgery.

Arenado appears bound for the disabled list.

"He'll miss some time," Weiss said. "It's tough news for our club. He's off to a great start and a hell of a player."

Laird, 34, earned the four straight starts as Evan Gattis was held out with viral symptoms. Laird went 5 for 15 with three RBIs in the four games.

"He's supposed to be a guy that's going to fill in once a week, twice a week," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's played four days in a row and he's come up big."

Laird said the regular playing time has helped him feel more comfortable at the plate.

"I felt like the last week or so I've taken better swings," he said. "Tonight I got some pitches up and was able to take advantage of it."

Laird said he knows his role is to play behind Gattis but added "I'm ready to go every day, four, five, six, seven in a row, I'll do it."

Michael Cuddyer hit a home run for Colorado.

Braves third baseman Chris Johnson was pulled from the game by Gonzalez in the second. Johnson said he lost his temper in the tunnel after striking out. Johnson, who has a history of similar incidents, said he apologized to the team.

Ramiro Pena, who replaced Johnson, led off the eighth with a double to the center field wall off Adam Ottavino (0-1). After Andrelton Simmons and Dan Uggla struck out, Laird lined the single to left field and advanced to second when Corey Dickerson's throw bounced past catcher Jordan Pacheco.

Ottavino said Laird hit a slider.

"I threw a hittable one and he hit it," Ottavino said. "He did a good job. He committed to it and got the barrel on it."

David Carpenter (4-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 13th save.

Arenado led off the second with a double to left field. Left fielder Justin Upton's throw was caught by Uggla, who flipped the ball to shortstop Simmons at second base. Simmons kept the glove down as Arenado slid past the bag.

Gonzalez asked for a review as replays indicated Simmons might have tagged Arenado's foot off the bag. The play stood following the review of 3 minutes, 48 seconds.

Arenado grabbed his hand following the slide but remained in the game to score from third on Pacheco's groundout. Charlie Culberson replaced Arenado at third base in the bottom of the inning.

The loss of Arenado for a significant period would be a blow to the Rockies. Arenado is hitting .305 with six homers and 28 RBIs. His 28-game hitting streak from April 9-May 8 is the longest in the National League this season.

Uggla walked and scored on Laird's double in the second. The Braves took a 2-1 lead in the third. B.J. Upton scored from third base on Justin Upton's groundout.

Cuddyer's homer, his fourth, tied the game in the sixth.

Gavin Floyd allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 2-3 innings for Atlanta. Jordan Lyles gave up two runs on six hits and one walk in six innings for Colorado.

Notes

Javy Lopez, a catcher for Atlanta from 1992-2003, Dave Pursley, a longtime trainer with Milwaukee and Atlanta from 1962-2001, and Rabbit Maranville, a shortstop with the Boston Braves for 15 seasons, were inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame. .... Weiss said OF Carlos Gonzalez (swollen left index finger), who didn't start for the second straight day, was available. Gonzalez aggravated the inflammation in the finger on Wednesday night. ... Braves LHP Mike Minor will face Rockies RHP Juan Nicasio on Saturday.

 
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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Atlanta catcher Gerald Laird helps the Braves with some big hits, including a tiebreaking single in the eighth. (USATSI)
Atlanta catcher Gerald Laird helps the Braves with some big hits, including a tiebreaking single in the eighth. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

G. Laird
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Colorado

M. Cuddyer
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Charlie Blackmon, CF4000021 .322
Michael Cuddyer, RF4121000 .329
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4010011 .377
Justin Morneau, 1B4010011 .321
Nolan Arenado, 3B1110000 .305
   Charlie Culberson, 3B3000012 .174
Corey Dickerson, LF4020021 .352
Jordan Pacheco, C3011001 .243
   a-Wilin Rosario, PH1000010 .252
DJ LeMahieu, 2B3000021 .285
Jordan Lyles, P2000001 .200
   b-Brandon Barnes, PH1000011 .319
   Rex Brothers, P0000000 .000
   Adam Ottavino, P0000000 .000
Totals34282011  
a-struck out for Pacheco in the 9th
b-struck out for Lyles in the 7th
Batting
2B - Justin Morneau (13, Carpenter), Nolan Arenado (17, Floyd)
HR - Michael Cuddyer (4, Floyd)
SH - DJ LeMahieu (2)
RBI - Michael Cuddyer (12), Jordan Pacheco (8)
Team LOB - 6
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jordan Lyles 6622160 3.45
Rex Brothers 0.2200110 2.61
Adam Ottavino (L,0-1) 1.1211030 1.74
WP - Jordan Lyles (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Jordan Lyles 95-60, Rex Brothers 17-12, Adam Ottavino 24-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jordan Lyles 8-4
Batters Faced - Jordan Lyles 25, Rex Brothers 5, Adam Ottavino 6
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jason Heyward, RF4020010 .247
B.J. Upton, CF3120101 .209
Freddie Freeman, 1B4010015 .303
Justin Upton, LF4011014 .293
Chris Johnson, 3B1000010 .265
   Ramiro Pena, 3B3110002 .196
Andrelton Simmons, SS4000012 .265
Dan Uggla, 2B3100132 .177
Gerald Laird, C4022000 .208
Gavin Floyd, P2000011 .125
   Luis Avilan, P0000000 .000
   a-Tyler Pastornicky, PH1010000 .233
   David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
   b-Ryan Doumit, PH1000011 .240
   Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
Totals343103210  
a-singled for Avilan in the 7th
b-struck out for Carpenter in the 8th
Batting
2B - B.J. Upton (8, Lyles), Ramiro Pena (3, Ottavino), Gerald Laird (3, Lyles)
RBI - Justin Upton (27), Gerald Laird 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Gerald Laird 2 (2)
SB - B.J. Upton (8, 2nd base off Lyles/Pacheco), Justin Upton (5, 2nd base off Lyles/Pacheco)
Team LOB - 9
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Gavin Floyd 6.2722071 2.49
Luis Avilan 0.1000000 4.20
David Carpenter (W,4-0) 1100010 2.53
Craig Kimbrel (S,13) 1000030 1.96
WP - Gavin Floyd 2 (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Gavin Floyd 102-72, Luis Avilan 1-1, David Carpenter 12-9, Craig Kimbrel 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gavin Floyd 6-7, Luis Avilan 1-0, David Carpenter 2-0
Batters Faced - Gavin Floyd 27, Luis Avilan 1, David Carpenter 4, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25646
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Mark Ripperger, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom