Atlanta Earns A Series Split With A 9-6 Win Over Colorado

Atlanta's offense exploded in the series finale, beating Colorado 9-6 and salvaging a split of the four game series against the Rockies.

Tommy Hanson struggled throughout the game today, and those struggles started in the first inning. Carlos Gonzalez took a one-one fastball and hammered it deep to right field to start the inning with a solo homer, giving Colorado a 1-0 lead.

The Rockies added to their lead in the bottom of the second. With one out, an Ian Stewart single and a walk to Chris Iannetta put runners on first and second for Dexter Fowler. Fowler crushed a ball off the wall in right field for a triple, scoring Stewart and Iannetta to make it a 3-0 game. 

Colorado pitcher Jhoulys Chacin attempted a squeeze bunt as Fowler was running towards home. He missed the bunt, but Brian McCann was unable to catch the pitch, allowing Fowler to steal home and make it a 4-0 Colorado lead.

Atlanta got to Chacin in the third inning, as Martin Prado led off with a walk. Jason Heyward then hit a screaming liner into the Rockies pen for a two-run homer, cutting the deficit to 4-2. 

Atlanta then loaded the bases thanks to a Freddie Freeman single and back to back walks to Eric Hinske and Brooks Conrad. Alex Gonzalez grounded to short, and beat the throw at first to avoid the double play. That allowed Freeman to score and cut the lead to 4-3. 

The rest after the jump...

The Braves took the lead for the first time in the fifth inning. Freeman continued destroying Rockies pitching, hitting a home run to center to tie the game at four. 

After Brooks Conrad reached on a fielders choice and advanced on a walk to Gonzalez, Nate McLouth singled to center, scoring Conrad to give Atlanta a 5-4 lead.

Chacin didn't make it out of the fifth, throwing 4.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R (earned), 7 BB, 4 K's.

Tommy Hanson was unable to hold that lead, as the Rockies came back in the sixth inning. Troy Tulowitzki singled to begin the frame, and scored on a triple from Seth Smith. Two batters later, Iannetta scored Smith on a sacrifice fly to center. McLouth's throw was terrible, and a good throw probably gets Smith at the plate. That gave Colorado a 6-5 lead. 

Hanson left after six after giving up six runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out seven en route to a lucky win. 

Reliever Matt Reynolds came in to pitch for Colorado in the seventh, and was hit hard. Brooks Conrad yet again came up big in a key moment, homering to left field to tie the game at seven. Gonzalez followed with a double, and scored on a triple from Nate McLouth that was helped out by some poor defense from Smith. That made it a 7-6 game in favor the Braves.

Matt Lindstrom came in to pitch at this point. Pinch hitter Wilkin Ramirez grounded to third, and McLouth beat Ian Stewart's throw home to score and give Atlanta a two run cushion. Ramirez reached first on the play, and scored on a double from Heyward to finish the scoring and making it a 9-6 game. 

Jonny Venters pitched a scoreless eighth, and Craig Kimbrel tied Kerry Ligtenberg's franchise record for saves by a rookie with his 30th of the season.

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