Colorado Rockies Benefit From Poor Atlanta Braves’ Defense, Win 5-1


May 14, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher

Chad Bettis

(35) throws the ball in the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves met for the second part of their three game series Tuesday night at Turner Field in downtown Atlanta. 

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The Colorado Rockies scored four unearned runs thanks to poor defense from the Atlanta Braves, and Chad Bettis was solid in his return from the disabled list, giving the visitors a 5-1 victory on Tuesday night at Turner Field in Atlanta.

The scoring started early again for the Colorado Rockies, just as it did on Monday night, but this time it was aided not by the long ball, but rather thanks to Atlanta’s poor defense at third base.

The Rockies got their first run on a fielding error by Braves’ third baseman Adonis Garcia, who misplayed Nolan Arenado‘s ground ball and let in DJ LeMahieu for the first Rockies’ run.

The very next batter, Ben Paulsen, then hit a sacrifice fly to give the Rockies a 2-0 lead off Braves’ starter Mike Foltynewicz, though both runs in that inning were unearned.

The Rockies tacked on two more unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning, again thanks to an error by Garcia at third base. After the error, which allowed the Rockies to load the bases, LeMahieu slapped a single that scored Nick Hundley and Matt McBride, tacking on to the Rockies’ lead at now 4-0, while also pushing more unearned runs across against poor Foltynewicz, who deserved better than his defense provided.

Chad Bettis started for the Rockies in his first game back from more than a month on the disabled list due to elbow inflammation, and even though he didn’t go deep into the game, he did throw very well. In five innings, Bettis held the Braves in check, only eventually allowing a run in the bottom of the fifth when Nick Markakis singled home Andrelton Simmons.

All told, Bettis went five full innings, allowing just the one run on five hits and two walks, while striking out four Atlanta hitters. He threw 52 of his 88 pitches for strikes, and left with a 4-1 lead and  chance to earn his sixth win of the season.

The Rockies’ bullpen was adventurous at times over the next three innings, but while they bent, they never broke — and despite Tommy Kahnle walking four (!) hitters in the seventh inning, the Rockies lived to tell about it thanks to an important double play by Arenado, and a key strikeout from Scott Oberg with the bases loaded in the three-run game.

The Rockies got an insurance run in the top of the ninth, and LeMahieu was in the middle of it again, this time knocking a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Daniel Descalso. All told, LeMahieu finished 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and a run hitting in the second spot in the order tonight.

John Axford threw a clean ninth inning, albeit no longer in a save situation, to finish off the Braves and give the Rockies their 50th win of the season (compared to 74 losses).

The Rockies and Braves will finish their series on Wednesday night in Atlanta at 5:10 pm MT, before Colorado enjoys a Thursday off day and then a weekend series in Pittsburgh against a very good Pirates club.

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