Freddie Freeman drove in three including his 14th home run of the season while helping lead Atlanta to a 7-4 win over Colorado in the first game of a four game set against the Rockies. Atlanta scored five runs in the first three innings of the game against Colorado starter Jason Hammel. Colorado rallied in the seventh, but couldn't close the gap any further against the Atlanta bullpen duo of Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel.
Atlanta was poised for a big inning in the second before Alex Gonzalez lined into a double play with the bases loaded. After the twin killing, the Rockies intentionally walked Nate McLouth to load the bases for pitcher Derek Lowe. The Braves scored their first two runs as Lowe reached on an error by first baseman Todd Helton.
The Braves would play long ball in the third inning scoring three times on a two run home run by Freddie Freeman and a solo shot by Eric Hinske. The Rockies got their first run of the evening in the bottom half when Derek Lowe surrendered a two out single to Helton that scored Carlos Gonzalez making the score 5-1.
Atlanta would extend its lead to 7-1 scoring single runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Alex Gonzalez singled home Hinkse in the fifth and Freddie Freeman drove home Derek Lowe with a ground out in the sixth. Lowe shook off the trade rumors that were swirling around him when the game began and put together a solid performance through six innings before the Rockies finally got to him in the seventh.
Chris Ianetta led off the inning with a single but was erased on a fielder's choice ground out by Dexter Fowler. Pinch hitter Ryan Spilborghs drew a walk before Carlos Gonzalez singled home Fowler making the score 7-2. Mark Ellis followed with a single to right that loaded the bases and ended the night for Lowe. Eric O'Flaherty came on for Atlanta to face Helton with one out and the bases loaded. Helton delivered a sacrifice fly to center scoring Spilborghs and making the score 7-3. Troy Tulowitzki followed with another run scoring single to center to make the score 7-4 before Seth Smith flew out to end the inning.
Neither team would threaten the rest of the way with Jonny Venters pitching around a walk in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel closing things out in the ninth for his 29th save of the season.
Derek Lowe hangs on for his sixth win of the season going 6.1 innings, surrendering eight hits and four earned runs. Rockies starter Jason Hammel takes the loss after pitching five innings, allowing eight hits, and six runs of which four were earned.
Freddie Freeman continued his torrid stretch going 3 for 5 and driving in three runs giving him 50 RBI for the season. Hinske, Brian McCann, and Martin Prado each had two hits for Atlanta. Todd Helton had two RBI for Colorado.
Game 2 of the series is tomorrow night with Brandon Beachy taking the hill for Atlanta. He will be opposed by the Rockies Ubaldo Jimenez.