Jul 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) is greeted by center fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) and catcher Michael McKenry (8) after hitting a home run during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
After winning two consecutive games by a score of 5-3, the Colorado Rockies tried to win a series outright against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday afternoon.
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The Colorado Rockies withstood leaving ten runners on base, and walked off on a Carlos Gonzalez single in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded, defeating the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on Saturday afternoon in Denver.
The Rockies started the scoring early, when Carlos Gonzalez blasted a two-run home run to center field in the bottom of the first inning off Braves’ starter Matt Wisler. The shot, measured at 442 feet, as CarGo’s second in two days, and third in his last six games, and put the Rockies up 2-0 early.
The Braves would chip away with solo homers off Rockies’ starter Jorge De La Rosa, though. Juan Uribe hit a solo home run to left field in the second inning, and Ryan Lavarnway followed up with a solo shot in the third, and quickly, the game was tied 2-2 again.
De La Rosa threw extremely well besides the two homers, going six innings and giving up just four hits and the two runs, while striking out seven Braves’ hitters. He left with a 2-2 tie, though, and wouldn’t factor into the decision.
The Colorado Rockies had plenty of opportunities to score throughout the game, and never did it; they left ten men on base across the first eight innings of the game, including in the bottom of the seventh, when Troy Tulowitzki and CarGo came up with two men on base and just one out, and each struck out in successive at-bats, failing to bring home what would’ve been a go-ahead run.
The Rockies also dodged some bullets on defense, though. Rex Brothers — fresh up in Denver from a recent recall out of AAA Albuquerque — walked two batters and threw a wild pitch in the seventh inning, only for Rafael Betancourt to eventually work out of the jam.
Christian Friedrich, too, worked out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth to clean up Betancourt’s later mess, and the Braves left nearly as many runners on base — nine — as the Rockies did on the day.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Colorado Rockies got another great shot to put the game away when Drew Stubbs reached base on an infield single off Atlanta closer Jason Grilli. Grilli fell in pain covering first base, grabbing his left foot/ankle area, and had to be carted off the field.
Aardsma struck out Arenado, and then walked Tulowitzki to load the bases with just one out, and CarGo up to the plate.
Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez made a pitching change, calling on another right-handed reliever — the third pitcher the Braves had used in the inning to that point, while thus far only recording one out. Because Gonzalez didn’t have a lefty reliever available, though (he used Luis Avilan to strike out CarGo in the seventh inning), the choice was righty Mike Foltynewicz.
CarGo hit the very first pitch he saw for a bloop single that fell between the Braves’ infielders and center fielder Cameron Maybin, and the Rockies won on a walk-off. Gonzalez was the star — driving in all three runs on the day, and bracketing the game with his two run-scoring hits in the first and last frames.
The Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies finish their series on Sunday afternoon in Denver, before each team enjoys four days off for the All Star break.