Sean Newcomb turned in a dominant performance on the mound to help the Atlanta Braves defeat the Colorado Rockies 4-0 on Sunday. Atlanta improves to 6-3 on the season and captures its third straight series win to begin the 2018 season.
Newcomb allowed a leadoff single to DJ LeMahieu in the first but quickly erased him as he barehanded a comebacker off the bat of Chris Ianetta to start a double play. Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story followed with back-to-back singles but Newcomb struck out Ian Desmond to end the threat.
He found a groove from there retiring 16 batters in a row. Newcomb was as dominant as he has looked in an Atlanta uniform allowing five hits over six plus innings while striking out nine and walking none.
Kyle Freeland matched Newcomb pitch for pitch early before Atlanta finally got on the board in the fifth. Ender Inciarte worked a two out walk and came around to score on a ground-rule double off the bat of Ozzie Albies. The Braves tacked on two more runs in the sixth as Nick Markakis and Dansby Swanson hit long back-to-back home runs to make the score 3-0. Albies struck again in the seventh with a solo home run to left to extend the lead to 4-0.
Newcomb allowed back-to-back hits to Arenado and Story to start the seventh prompting Brian Snitker to go to his bullpen. Shane Carle came on and quickly got Desmond to ground into a 6-4-3 double play for the first two outs of the inning. Carle then retired Gerardo Parra on a fly out to left to end the inning.
Newcomb’s start was a stark contrast from his first outing. He looked confident and collected on the mound and commanded his fastball and change up with precision. His nine strikeouts tied a career high.
Carle, Sam Freeman allowed one hit in two combined innings in the seventh and eighth while Arodys Vizcaino worked an uneventful ninth to close things out.
Albies, Markakis and Swanson had two hits each for the Braves. Albies’ bat came alive in the thin air of Colorado going 5-for-12 in the series with two doubles and two home runs. Swanson went 6-for-12 with a double, triple and a home run.
Freeland was good but not quite good enough allowing seven hits and three runs over six innings. Arenado and Story finished with two hits each for Colorado.
Atlanta’s road trip will continue on Monday when they open up a three-game set against the Washington Nationals.