It started out as a rehash of their first meeting earlier this week, but tonight's Jon Gray vs. Julio Teheran duel went off script in the middle when Teheran exited the game in the fifth with a lat injury and the Rockies took advantage of a shaky Braves bullpen. In the end, the Rockies' pen was also shaky, but it was just good enough to get them a 4-3 win in front of 35,880 at Coors Field.
After they combined for no runs on Sunday, Gray and Teheran gave up just one between them tonight, and it came in the top of the first when Gray allowed a two-out triple (that was nearly caught by Ryan Raburn) to Freddie Freeman, who scored on an infield hit by Nick Markakis. That would be all the damage Atlanta would do against him.
Gray had his second terrific outing in a row against the Braves, and he continues to look more like an ace with every passing start. His final line: 7 innings pitched, eight strikeouts, one walk, six hits and one earned run. Still, he wasn't in line for the win when he walked off the mound after the sixth inning with the Rockies trailing 1-0.
Just as it was looking like an all-too familiar replay of Gray's last start against the Braves, the Colorado offense broke through in a big way in the sixth inning. DJ LeMahieu led off with a walk, and Nolan Arenado followed with his 24th home run of the season, and his first since July 5. Carlos Gonzalez followed with a single before Trevor Story tied Arenado for the club mark with a towering shot that landed about five rows shy of the concourse in left field. He also tied Troy Tulowitzki for the most home runs ever by a National League rookie shortstop.
Despite being stymied once again by Teheran, the Rockies were in front 4-1 after six. After a scoreless seventh, Jason Motte came on to pitch the eighth, and he continued to be less than impressive, giving up a long two-run home run to Chase Peterson that cut the score to 4-3. Boone Logan came on and finished the rest of the inning without incident.
Carlos Estevez loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but got an infield fly and an iffy check-swing strikeout to end things. It was a nail-biter, but it'll look just as good in the win column as last night.
The Rockies will go for three straight against the Braves tomorrow at 6:10 MDT as Tyler Anderson faces off against Matt Wisler.