The rain may have actually benefited the Rockies this time, as Braves starter Alex Wood threw just two pitches in the bottom of the first before a two-hour rain delay that forced his removal from the game.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez replaced Wood with long reliever Jake Brigham, who had pitched just 4⅔ innings in his major league career entering Thursday's game. After retiring leadoff man Charlie Blackmon, Brigham gave up doubles to Nolan Arenado, Wilin Rosario and Carlos Gonzalez, giving the Rockies a 2-0 lead after an inning.
The Rockies added to their lead in the second against Brigham with a solo home run from Drew Stubbs that was followed by three straight singles and a sacrifice fly from Troy Tulowitzki, giving the Rockies a 4-0 lead.
Brigham did help the Braves save their bullpen, but he was not all that effective in his four innings of work, allowing four runs, all earned, on 10 hits with a walk and a strikeout. He threw 72 pitches, 55 for strikes.
The delay also chased Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick from the game, and manager Walt Weiss chose to replace him with David Hale, who was scheduled to start Friday's game. Hale retired the Braves in order in the second and had two outs in the third when he had to leave the game with a strained groin after fielding Brigham's sacrifice bunt. Hale told reporters after the game that he first felt something in his groin while running the bases in the bottom of the second.
With both Kendrick and Hale out and long reliever Yohan Flande unavailable after pitching five innings Tuesday, the Rockies turned to good old Johnny Allstaff to finish the game out. After Hale's exit, six Rockies relievers combined to allow three runs on eight hits in 6⅓ innings, walking one and striking out nine.
All three Atlanta runs came in the fifth against Rockies reliever Christian Friedrich, who gave up a pair of singles and walked pinch hitter Jonny Gomes with one out before allowing a two-run double to Jace Peterson, cutting the Rockies' lead in half to 4-2. Scott Oberg replaced Friedrich and shut down the inning, getting Cameron Maybin out on a sacrifice fly and striking out Nick Markakis to end the inning with the Rockies still leading, 4-3.
Colorado got an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth on doubles from Gonzalez, who had three of them in the game, and catcher Nick Hundley.
The Rockies will look for their second straight win with a starting pitcher that is to be determined tomorrow night against the Braves' Shelby Miller.
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