Craig Kimbrel Sets Rookie Record For Saves Before The All-Star Break As Atlanta Sweeps Colorado With a 6-3 Win

What a great series. Atlanta got big games offensively from Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward and a gutsy performance from Tim Hudson as the Braves beat the Rockies 6-3 to clinch the sweep. 

The Rockies scored first in today's game as Jonathan Herrera walked with one out in the first and scored on a double from Jason Giambi to make it a 1-0 game. 

Colorado put another run up on the board in the third inning as back-to-back singles from Charlie Blackmon and Herrera put runners on first and third. Giambi hit a dribbler down the first base line that Hudson fielded but was unable to get out of his glove in time, allowing the run to score and increased the lead to 2-0 Colorado.

The Braves finally got to Rockies starter Juan Nicasio in the third inning. Jordan Schafer led off with a ground rule double to right field and scored on a single from Alex Gonzalez to make it a 2-1 game. Chipper Jones singled to put runners on first and second for the red hot Freddie Freeman who crushed a three-run homer to left field to make it a 4-2 Braves lead. 

Dan Uggla kept up his hot hitting with a backside double to right, and was driven in by a Jason Heyward single, giving the Braves a 5-2 lead. 

The rest after the jump..

Hudson battled out of trouble in the fifth inning as the Rockies loaded the bases with two outs for Mark Ellis. Hudson coaxed a grounder to short to escape the jam and keep the lead intact. 

Atlanta finished their scoring in the fifth, as Heyward stroked a homer off of Rockies reliever Eric Stults to right field to up the lead to 6-2 in favor of the Braves.

A one out walk to Ellis ended Hudson's day in the eighth inning. Eric O' Flaherty came in and struggled. A single and a walk loaded the bases, and after getting Chris Iannetta to pop out, O' Flaherty unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Ellis to come in and score to cut the lead to 6-3. Helton walked, and Fredi Gonzalez called in Jonny Venters to pitch to Ty Wiggington.

Venters was filthy as usual and struck him out to escape the jam.

Hudson finished with a final line of 7.1 innings pitched, five hits, three runs (earned), three walks, and three strikeouts as he earned his eighth win of the season.

Closer Craig Kimbrel recorded the last three outs of the game, coaxing two pop outs and a strikeout to record his 27th save of the season. The save today gave Kimbrel the rookie record for saves before the all-star break, a record previously held by Jonathan Papelbon.

Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward combined for six hits, five RBI's and two home runs. 

Atlanta heads up to Philadelphia for a three game set against the Phillies starting tomorrow. 

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