The Braves got ahead early, but the Rockies responded quickly and were able to hold off a late charge by Atlanta in order to pick up the 5-4 win on the road.
In a potential signal that this was going to be a different week when compared to last week, the Braves actually got on the board first in this one! The Braves got three straight hits with one out in the first inning, as Freddie Freeman cashed in Jorge Soler’s double with an RBI single of his own to put the Braves up 1-0 after one.
Unfortunately, any illusions of this being a walkover for the Braves quickly vanished once the second inning rolled around. Trevor Story sent Touki Toussaint’s second pitch of the second inning very long and very far away from home plate to tie the game at one, then the Rockies had three batters in a row reach base, with the third one being a go-ahead RBI single from Garrett Hampson. The next two batters went down in order, but at this point it seemed like the Rockies were ready to pick up where they left off in Philadelphia.
Atlanta eventually responded in the fourth inning, which is when the bottom part of the lineup put in some work with two outs in order to push a run across the plate. Travis d’Arnaud hit a double with two outs to get things going, then Dansby Swanson followed that up with a double (that he sorely needed) to tie things up at two. Once the fourth inning ended in a tie, there was a feeling that this could end up being a nervy night if the starting pitchers could continue to be steady.
Touki Toussaint was unable to keep the ship going in the right direction once the fifth inning arrived, though. The Rockies jumped on Touki quickly in the fifth, as a leadoff single turned into a home run by Brendan Rodgers to put Colorado back ahead. Jacob Webb got the ball for the rest of the inning and after he was done heading into the sixth, Jesse Chavez got the ball for the next inning and things didn’t go well. Garrett Hampson smacked a triple with one out and then old friend Rio Ruiz brought him home with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to make it 5-2 Rockies at that point.
The Braves were mostly dormant until the eighth inning, which is when things finally got loud for their bats. Freddie Freeman hit his second triple of the season to wake things up, then Adam Duvall continued what’s been a fantastic return to Atlanta by completely demolishing a hanger from Jhoulys Chacin to cut the deficit to just one run. Suddenly, a comeback looked very feasible for the Braves.
Things got even more interesting once it was Atlanta’s turn to hit in the ninth inning. With an incredibly unpredictable CB Bucknor calling what he figured were balls and strikes behind the plate, Eddie Rosario somehow managed to work himself onto the base paths with a walk. He got to third base after Ozzie Albies swung at the first pitch and got on with a single. That brought Jorge Soler to the plate with two outs and he figured that he should follow Ozzie’s lead of swinging at the first pitch. Instead of tying the game, he harmlessly flew out to Hampson to end the game.
For the Braves, it’s a frustrating loss since this was a Colorado team that spent most of this season being absolutely dreadful away from home. While the Rockies did win their most recent road series in Philadelphia, this would’ve been a golden opportunity for the Braves to send them back to earth as far as their road form is concerned. Instead, another suboptimal pitching performance was too much for Atlanta to overcome on this night and now they’ll have to win two in a row to take the series. Elsewhere, the Cubs did do the Braves a solid by beating the Phillies, but it feels more like a missed opportunity than anything else. The divisional lead stays at four-and-a-half games for Atlanta heading into tomorrow’s action.