Rockies power to 4-game sweep of Braves

Rockies power to 4-game sweep of Braves

DENVER -- Charlie Blackmon drove in four runs and All-Star Troy Tulowitzki cracked a three-run homer as the Rockies beat the Braves, 11-3, on Sunday at Coors Field. The Rockies completed a four-game sweep -- their first home sweep this season.

Blackmon delivered a two-run, bases-loaded single in the second and another two-run single in the sixth -- both in left-on-left confrontations with losing pitcher Alex Wood (6-6). Tulowitzki followed Blackmon's sixth-inning single with his 10th homer this season. Drew Stubbs added his fifth homer -- a two-run shot -- in the eighth off David Carpenter.

Stubbs's two-run homer

"We'll try to get hot, stay hot," said Tulowitzki, who will join third baseman Nolan Arenado and second baseman DJ LeMahieu in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile in Cincinnati. "We haven't gone on quite a streak yet. This could be the start of something."

The hit in the sixth broke a 3-3 tie and made a winner of Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis (5-4). Coming off his worst career start (10 runs, eight hits in 2 1/3 innings against the Angels), Bettis went six innings and gave up three runs -- on RBI singles by Kelly Johnson and A.J. Pierzynski and an RBI double by Jonny Gomes, all in the sixth -- on six hits. Bettis struck out eight and walked five.

Pierzynski's RBI single

"We just didn't pitch very well or play very well for four days," Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. " After the way we played in Milwaukee for the first two days and then to come in here and play like that, it's baseball."

Johnson's RBI single

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Quietly burning: Blackmon, whose tie-breaking single came with two outs and a 1-2 count, went 9-for-18 (.500) during the just-completed 4-2 homestand. Since June 13, Blackmon is hitting .336 (36-for-107). More >

"At the time, they were huge hits, clutch hits -- off a left-hander, too," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

Blackmon's second two-run single

Sticking with Wood: After Gomes highlighted Atlanta's three-run sixth with a game-tying double, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez elected to allow Wood to hit with one out and the bases loaded. Wood struck out and then surrendered three hits, including Blackmon's two-run single in the bottom half of the inning. The Atlanta lefty allowed 10 hits for the third time in his past four starts and was charged with a career-high seven earned runs over 5 2/3 innings. More >

Wood fans Bettis

Timely quality start: Bettis struggled with his delivery in his last two starts, but despite the walks (one was intentional), was better Sunday. But he was at his best when the game nearly slipped away in the sixth. But after Gomes' one-out double tied the game, Bettis intentionally walked Andrelton Simmons, fanned Wood, and forced Jace Peterson into a grounder to short.

"I wasn't ready to hand the ball over," Bettis said. "I needed to make pitches. I knew they weren't necessarily hitting them too well except for Gomes. I knew I had them right where I wanted."

Bettis' eight strikeouts

Quiet offense: The Braves, who have lost five straight, tallied runs in just five of the 36 innings they batted during this four-game series. They had a chance to set the tone on Sunday when Eury Perez doubled in the first inning and Nick Markakis followed with a one-out walk. But Bettis escaped by recording consecutive strikeouts of Johnson and Juan Uribe.

QUOTABLE
"It's a shining light on what could happen. But we haven't done it. It's frustrating. We need to play like we played this whole series. If we put this all together, good things will happen." -- Arenado, on the Rockies' four-game sweep

"I would've liked to come out here and get a series win and keep the momentum going into the second half. Then you wouldn't have to worry about what you're looking at." -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, when asked if this losing streak moves the club closer to being sellers before the Trade Deadline

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Blackmon's second-inning two-run single made him just 2-for-18 with the bases loaded in his career. His only other bases-loaded hit was Oct. 1, 2012 at Arizona.

Blackmon's two-run single

DEEP BREATH FOR BROTHERS
Lefty Rex Brothers, who began this year at Triple-A Albuquerque, didn't make his 2015 debut until Saturday. After a rough travel day -- -- Brothers walked two in 1/3 of an inning Saturday. But Sunday, he walked one and struck out two in the ninth. Brothers was 4-1 with a 4.71 ERA and three saves in 32 games at Albuquerque.

"I don't take any outing for granted but it's nice to have a good one going into the break," said Brothers, who had a 1.74 ERA for the Rockies in 2013, struggled to 5.59 last year and didn't make the team this year.

WHAT'S NEXT
Braves: Julio Teheran will take the mound when the Braves come out of the All-Star break on Friday to begin a three-game series against the Cubs at Turner Field. Teheran endured a rough first half, but he went 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA in eight home starts.

Rockies: Lefty Jorge De La Rosa (6-3, 4.34 ERA), the Rockies' best pitcher -- in the first half and, arguably, ever -- will open the second half at San Diego on Friday at 8:10 p.m. MT (Root Sports Rocky Mountain/850 KOA). The Padres will start right-hander James Shields (7-3, 4.01).

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.