Chad Bettis threw a gem and got run support from Carlos Gonzalez and Mark Reynolds to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 7-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves. Bettis went 6⅔ innings for the third consecutive game and only gave up one run while striking out four. Gonzalez and Reynolds blasted long home runs to provide the runs needed for the win.
Both sides were quiet through the first three innings as the teams combined for only one hit; a leadoff single by Nick Markakis in the second inning.
There was trouble in the fourth. Gordon Beckham led off the inning with a double down the left field line to give the Braves a runner in scoring position with no outs. Beckham advanced on a flyout from Freddie Freeman and a walk to Markakis gave the Braves first and third with one out. Bettis locked down and got a lineout from Adonis Garcia and struck out Ender Inciarte to end the threat.
The Rockies threatened in the bottom of the fourth with a similar situation; runners on first and third with one out. Unfortunately, the Rockies were unable to plate a run. Trevor Story was allegedly thrown out trying to steal second for the second out and Daniel Descalso walked. Ryan Raburn crushed a ball to deep center but Enciarte, the Braves young center fielder, ran it own. The score stayed at zero going into the fifth inning.
All stayed status quo until the bottom of the sixth when Carlos Gonzalez struck. Charlie Blackmon led off the inning and DJ LeMahieu produced his patented single through the left side, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Up comes Gonzalez and he drove a 1-1 fastball off the wall of the Rockies bullpen for a three-run homer. The Rockies managed a few more baserunners before ending the inning with the lead at 3-0.
The Braves got one back in the top of the seventh after one-out single by Inciarte followed by a double by A.J. Pierzynski. Bettis was able to get Erick Aybar to ground out to LeMahieu before Adam Ottovino came in and hosed the pinch-hitter Brandon Snyder with his patented slider to leave the Rockies up 3-1.
Mark Reynolds joined the party when he led off the bottom of the seventh with a pinch-hit, 486-foot bomb to left-center field, the second-longest home run in the majors this year. Boone Logan pitched a stellar top of the eighth, striking out Freddie Freeman to end the inning.
The bottom of the eighth got... interesting. The Braves brought in a young pitcher in 22-year-old Mauricio Cabrera. Cabrera apparently has a fastball that can climb up to 105 MPH and showed it; he also had little control. He hit Story and walked Descalso to lead off the inning and they advanced on a Brandon Barnes sacrifice bunt. Nick Hundley dropped a single between third and short, scoring Story easily. Descalso scored on an obstruction call on Aybar at shortstop to the incredulity of Pierzynski, who had just tagged out Descalso at the plate. The run scored, the Braves were upset, and Pierzynski was tossed. After the delay so the backup catcher, Anthony Recker, could gear up, Tony Freaking Wolters blasted a double over the left fielder Jace Peterson to make the score 7-1. When Tony Wolters is driving the ball you know it’s been a good day.
Jason Motte let up two runs in the top of the ninth, making the final score 7-3.
The Rockies take on the Braves tomorrow night at 6:40 MT. Jon Gray will take on Julio Teheran in a rematch of last Sunday’s matinee.