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Jon Gray excellent as Rockies shutout Braves 3-0

The Rockies head back to Denver and begin a nine-game home stand tomorrow

The Rockies offense will need to come alive if the team wants to have a deep postseason run, but it’s still nice to see the Rockies nab a win on the strength of their pitching. That’s what happened this afternoon in Atlanta. Jon Gray pitched one of his best games of the season. He struck out seven and shutout the Braves in six-plus innings while allowing five singles and walking two batters. The bullpen didn’t allow a run and got the final 12 outs of the game, and the Rockies wrapped up a successful 3-3 road trip.

Trevor Story got the scoring started in the second. Gerardo Parra singled and he moved over to second base after a Carlos González walk. Story brought Parra home with a double. They couldn’t bring CarGo home though.

The Rockies lost a golden opportunity to add more to their lead in the top of the third. Charlie Blackmon walked to lead off the inning, and DJ LeMahieu followed up with a single to put two runners on with nobody out. Nolan Arenado got decent wood on a liner to left field, but it was caught for the first out. Parra struck out after that for the second out of the inning. After Mark Reynolds walked to load the bases, CarGo went down on strikes to end the inning.

The Rockies eventually extended their lead in the sixth. Parra lead off with a single and Reynolds brought him home with a two-run homer. That made it 3-0.

Gray’s toughest inning came in the sixth. Brandon Phillips singled and Freddie Freeman walked to put two runners on base. But Gray got Nick Markakis and Kurt Suzuki to fly out to center field to end the threat.

Gray came out for the seventh inning, but after allowing a leadoff single to Matt Adams, Bud Black removed him from the game and inserted Pat Neshek. Ozzie Albies singled to put two runners on with nobody out. Neshek settled down though. He got Dansby Swanson to fly out to center field, and pinch-hitter Matt Kemp hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Mike Dunn pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Jake McGee handled the ninth to finish the Braves off.

The Rockies begin a nine-game home stand tomorrow against the Tigers. Antonio Senzatela will face Jordan Zimmermann in the opener. First pitch is at 6:40 MT.