The Braves reached their 50th victory of the season with a 4-1 defeat of the Colorado Rockies. They pitched well, played solid defense and scored just enough runs to win the ballgame. What Atlanta did in nine innings on Monday night was practically what they've done for three months now, and it's defintiely working well.
Tommy Hanson, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel combined for a four-hitter against a potent Rockies lineup and gave up just one run. The trio struck out six and walked just two. Hanson recorded the victory, which improves him to 10-4 this season, and Kimbrel posted his 25th save of the season. Venters appeared to be a bit rusty in his inning of work, but it was the first time he had pitched since Wednesday, June 29.
Ubaldo Jimenez started for Colorado and threw 117 pitches over the course of just 5.1 innings. He struck out nine, but also gave up six hits, a walk and three runs. He was dominant for most of the evening outside of a pitch or two. Rockies relievers Rex Brothers, Rafael Betancourt and Matt Reynolds combined to work the final two and two-thirds innings.
Freddie Freeman hit the first of his two homers in the first inning. Brian McCann singled in the previous at-bat to bring the hot-swinging Freeman up to the plate. He took a high, 1-1 fastball and sent it deep towards left-center field. The ball landed ten rows deep and was a majestic blast from the moment it left the bat.
Todd Helton continued his strong season in the fourth inning and got Colorado on the scoreboard with an RBI-single to cut the lead to 2-1.
Jason Heyward doubled in Brian McCann in the sixth and Freeman added his second home run of the game in the eighth. With the two homers, Freeman now has 11 for the season and improved his OPS to .795.
Tuesday night will feature the Rockies best pitcher, Jhoulys Chacin, in a matchup with Derek Lowe. First pitch is at 7:10, weather permitting.
- All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left the game in the fourth inning after experiencing pain in his right quadriceps muscle. The injury isn't expected to be severe, but Tulo will likely miss at least two games before attempting to return to the lineup.
- Carlos Gonzalez didn't play Monday evening after a violent crash with the Coors Field wall on Sunday, but he could possibly make his return to the lineup for Tuesday's game.